Africa’s first Pro-Continental cycling team, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, has proudly joined the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s elite group of sporting ambassadors. World-famous long distance athlete Elana Meyer as well as champion wheelchair racer and hand cyclist Ernst van Dyk, both Laureus Ambassadors, welcomed the team to the Laureus family during their training camp for the 2015 season at Spier Wine Estate in the Western Cape.
Following on from their fantastic 2013 debut season on the international cycling stage, the MTN-Qhubeka riders made history on 23 August 2014 as the first African team to compete in a Grand Tour, La Vuelta (the Tour of Spain). The team is now working towards participation in next year’s edition of the Tour De France whilst also focusing on developing young African cycling talent.
Team MTN-Qhubeka rides to raise awareness and funds for the Qhubeka initiative, a charity dedicated to mobilizing people in Africa by distributing bicycles to underprivileged children in rural communities.
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa Chairman, Morné du Plessis, comments, “Team MTN-Qhubeka’s values and goals are strongly aligned with those of Laureus. We are delighted to welcome the team to our passionate ambassador network and look forward to working hand in hand to give young people the skills and opportunities to reach their potential through sport.”
“Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is honoured to be welcomed into the Laureus family and be a part of the iconic ambassador network. Our team has worked really hard to become a force to be reckoned with in world cycling whilst raising awareness for the Qhubeka charity’s ‘bicycles change lives’ initiative. To become a part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s elite group shows that our efforts have not gone unnoticed and this will drive us to greater heights”, said Douglas Ryder, Team Principal – Team MTN-Qhubeka.
Laureus Ambassadors are a select group of current and former sportsmen and women around the world who have achieved sporting greatness or made significant contributions to the sporting community during their careers. They are recognised as role models and icons of success and have volunteered their services to support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Team MTN-Qhubeka was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for the Qhubeka charity.
Qhubeka is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes people’s lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 210 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com
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, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards – which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.
The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.
The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems like obesity.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – the 47 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 120 countries and territories.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports over 150 community sports projects around the world. The 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards will be held in Shanghai.
Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.
Mercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility.
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.