Ben Ainslie has been named as the newest Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses the inspirational power of sport as a force to help young people through social change.
To signal the start of his ambassadorship, Ben & Land Rover BAR welcomed local project Big World Impact to sail with the team. Ben invited a group of youngsters from the local Havant project, many of whom had never been out on the water before, to the new home of Land Rover BAR, where they were given an exclusive sailing lesson from the team.
Additionally, thanks to the involvement of both the 1851 Trust, which aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the youngsters were able to learn about the technical details of sailing and were given an insight into the teamwork required to succeed in sport.
Following their time on the water, Ben gave the youngsters a tour of the team’s brand new hi-tech base, a showcase for sport, innovation, technology and sustainability, before answering questions on his career and what it takes to win four consecutive Olympic Gold Medals. Alongside his team-mates, Ben offered one-to-one advice to the youngsters on setting and achieving their goals, and how life lessons can be learnt through sport.
Reflecting on his day with the youngsters, Ben said:
“Sport has given me so much in my life. The lessons I’ve learnt on the oceans around the world have taught me so many life lessons which can be useful both on and off the water. Being competitive in sport requires resilience, focus, determination and most of all, hard work”.
“Days like today are what the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is all about. Meeting these young people has been inspirational for me; they’re all fighting their own challenges and I hope they have learnt today that with hard work and resilience, anything is possible.”
Tayah Winslade, 17, was inspired by the opportunity to spend the day with a legend of the sport. She said: “That was amazing; I’ve never been out on the water, never mind in a boat with an Olympic champion! Ben was so inspirational to us all; I don’t think any of us will forget what we’ve experienced today.”
The event was a resounding success for Julian Wandsworth, Community Engagement Manager at Big World Impact.
“For the young people from Big World Impact, this has truly been a fantastic and quite possibly life changing day. To have the opportunity to meet and sail with Ben Ainslie and his team, and to spend quality time getting to know them and understanding what it takes to compete at the highest level, is an experience I’m sure they will never forget,” said Julian. “We are extremely grateful to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Land Rover BAR for giving us this opportunity.”
Ben joins an impressive list of former and current sportsmen and women as Laureus Ambassadors, who, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses the power of sports such as sailing as a tool for social change. Its work focuses on helping young people overcome problems such as juvenile crime, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and health issues such as obesity. Laureus supports more than 150 projects worldwide. Since its inception, it has raised €85 million which has helped improve the lives of millions of young people.
Big World Impact is a small charity making a big impact in Leigh Park, Havant, Hampshire. Leigh Park was the biggest council estate in Europe in the 1970s and currently has a population of 28,000, with all four council wards in the top 20% on the index of deprivation.
The charity delivers a free, diverse and high quality social inclusion programme including sports, arts and cultural activities, primarily for young people and young adults aged 9-25. Utilising the power of sport for development, the charity also partners with local and regional sports clubs, providing opportunities for social change.