Rugby World Cup winner gets another honor

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: April 7, 2009

LONDON — South African Rugby World Cup winner Bryan Habana is the newest member of the Laureus Friends & Ambassadors program.

Habana was one of the stars of the 2007 World Cup, his eight tries equalling the record set by Jonah Lomu in 1999. He was acknowledged as the player of the tournament and won the 2007 International Rugby Board Player of the Year Award.

Habana is noted for his speed and has been timed as one of the fastest wingers in rugby. He once famously raced a cheetah for charity. He has been timed at 10.2 seconds for the 100 metres sprint.

He won global acclaim for his championship-winning try for Blue Bulls in the 2007 Super 14 final, one of the most amazing finishes ever seen in a major championship.

Habana said: “I would like to thank the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy for inviting me to become a Laureus Ambassador in South Africa and I am looking forward to getting down to work. I believe that successful sportsmen should give what they can back to society.”

“The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation supports many inspiring projects and I hope to be able to work with Laureus on projects in South Africa as the means to help disadvantaged young people in my own country. I feel humbled and privileged to be able to help others in this way”

Rugby legend Morné du Plessis, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa, said: “I am delighted to welcome Bryan into the Laureus Family.”

“He is not only a global rugby star, but he is an absolute hero in South Africa and having him as a Laureus Ambassador will be a major encouragement to our work here.”

“Laureus South Africa currently supports 11 community projects based on sport – the most in any country – and we hope to expand that number significantly in the future.”

Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements – the Laureus World Sports Academy, incorporating the Friends & Ambassadors program, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards – which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and harness the power of sport to promote social change.

The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception Laureus has raised $20 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one million young people.

The Foundation currently supports almost 70 projects worldwide.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa currently supports 11 projects: Alexandra Football Academy, Buffalo City Soccer School, Fight With Insight, Free The Youth, Future Champs, Indigo Youth Movement, Little Champs, Makomba-Ndlela Youth Movement, PeacePlayers International, Sport for All and Soweto Rugby Schools Programme.

The Laureus World Sports Academy is a unique association of 46 of the greatest living sporting legends under the chairmanship of double Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses.

The Academy members share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and to improve the lives of young people around the world.

Laureus Friends and Ambassadors is an initiative aimed at encouraging the involvement of sport stars and friends at a countrywide level. The personalities have volunteered their time to act as global ambassadors by using their influence to highlight the plight of underprivileged children.