US Paralympic Athlete Bob Lujano Becomes an Ambassador for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
Minneapolis, March 9, 2015 – Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, the leading non-profit organization that uses the positive power of sport to tackle society's most pressing challenges, announced its newest ambassador today. US Paralympic athlete and rugby national champion Bob Lujano joins the impressive list of both current and former sportspeople supporting and promoting Laureus USA’s work around the world.
Today, Lujano is at Sheridan Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minn., to celebrate his induction into the growing Laureus USA family. He is also joined by Jill Vialet, CEO and founder of Playworks, a national nonprofit that improves children’s learning and physical health by facilitating safe, active, inclusive play in low-income schools and by training adult educators in schools and youth agencies of all types in how to leverage play for improved outcomes for kids. Together Lujano and Vialet will be hosting leadership discussions and activities for a group of Playworks Junior Coaches, fourth- and fifth-graders who will receive advice and tips on how to manage and assist their peers in facilitating games during the school day. Lujano will also be leading these Junior Coaches in an accessible rugby related game that is inclusive of students with disabilities.
“Becoming a Laureus Ambassador gives me the opportunity to help promote inclusive sport and play for children everywhere, which is something I am very passionate about” said Bob Lujano. “I stand behind Laureus USA’s commitment to providing support to sport for good organizations like Playworks in order to help strengthen their reach and improve social, health and education outcomes for youth in need.”
Young adults trained as Playworks coaches work full-time in partner elementary schools to teach and model new language and play activities on the playground, in the classroom, and at sports leagues. Coaches impart social, emotional, and cognitive skills that engage students in ways that are healthy and fun.
Thanks to national patron Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), Laureus USA has granted $750,000 to Playworks this year, helping to support five Playworks markets across the country, including Minn.
"We're thrilled to welcome Bob Lujano to our partner school, Sheridan Elementary, and to participate in welcoming Bob to the Laureus Ambassador family” said Playworks’ Vialet. “Playworks' core values include inclusion and healthy play, and Bob is a leader in modeling and teaching both."
The Laureus Ambassadors, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The organization’s mission is to utilize the power of sport to address social problems through a global program of sports-related community development initiatives. Laureus USA works with numerous organizations around the country to help support initiatives that affect youth such as access to quality coaches and mentors, furthering education, and increasing physical activity and health awareness.
“It is a true honor to welcome such an inspiring Paralympic athlete and fellow Team USA member, Bob Lujano, to the Laureus family,” said Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA. “Lujano has overcome his fair share of challenges through his commitment and dedication, and we are thrilled to have him on board to help guide children across the country to help them understand how to deal with adversity and set themselves on a path to success”.
For more information about Laureus USA, please visit www.laureususa.com
Mob: (240) 731-6868
Tel: (201) 573-4734
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About Laureus USA
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (www.laureususa.com) is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States. It is part of the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation global network, which includes the global Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Laureus World Sports Academy, and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Collectively, the Laureus global network harnesses the power of sport to promote social change and celebrate sporting excellence. Laureus champions the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good, pursuit of excellence, overcoming challenges, celebrating achievement, and winning against the odds.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. For the nearly 50 years MBUSA has operated in this country, the company has been an integral part of the communities in which it does business and the neighborhoods where its employees live and work. A common thread through its activities over the decades has been a commitment to nurturing leadership. To that end, MBUSA places particular emphasis on initiatives designed to empower future generations, particularly those who are underserved. MBUSA is committed to helping today’s youth develop the tools they need to reach their full potential and become the leaders and success stories of tomorrow.
Playworks believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. The national nonprofit creates a place for every kid on the playground—a place where very child belongs, has fun and is part of the game. Playworks currently serves more than 900 schools in 23 cities, and reaches approximately 425,000 students directly and through professional training services.