(Cape Town, 15 June 2022) – Olympic silver medallist Bianca Buitendag has become Laureus Sport For Good Foundation SA’s newest ambassador, joining an expanding group of South African sporting icons who dedicate their time and efforts to uplift SA’s youth through the power of sport.
The announcement was made at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, with sporting legends Jean De Villiers, Ernst van Dyk, Elana Meyer, Cecil Afrika, Ryk Neethling, Babalwa Latsha and Ryan Sandes in attendance to help welcome Buitendag to the Laureus family.
The 28 year old, who retired from professional surfing shortly after her stellar run at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is thrilled to utilise her skills and passion in the Sport for Development space and motivate underprivileged youth to become changemakers in their own communities.
“It is an absolute honor to be included in the group of Laureus ambassadors,” said Buitendag at the announcement. “I am excited to use my platform and momentary victories to encourage and enable others along their own walks of life, because these efforts last so much longer than podiums and pride.”
Morné du Plessis, Chairperson of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa, recognised Buitendag’s passion and fearless drive: “I admire Bianca for walking the talk and remaining true to her life’s mission. She reached the pinnacle of success in surfing despite facing many personal and professional challenges, yet never lost focus of her calling to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. She really is an example to us all, and I am humbled to welcome a woman of her calibre to the Laureus family.”
Sport For Good Collaboration
Laureus SA has been based at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport since January this year, and works closely with the Academy to empower and uplift the community through sporting programmes.
Together, these organisations fund Lynedoch Boys to Men, a community intervention programme that aims to address local socio-economic challenges through educational and soccer programmes. Boys to Men operates under the Sustainability Institute umbrella – a non-profit trust committed to having a transformative impact on the lives of the children and youth in Lynedoch.
Fostering Social Change Through Sport
Laureus Sport for Good South Africa funds, supports, and promotes the use of sport as a tool for social change.
The Foundation has a network of over 30 Sport for Social Change organisations in over 100 communities, using sport in innovative ways to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges facing our youth, including poverty, homelessness, gangsterism, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and HIV/AIDS.
To support this mission, Laureus Ambassadors – a select group of current and retired sportsmen and women who have achieved sporting greatness, or made significant contributions to the sporting community over the course of their careers – volunteer their services and time to represent the Foundation at its various project activations and activities across the country.
Since its inception, Laureus SA has raised over R80 million for projects which have helped improve the lives of over 100,000 young people in South Africa. Through the strategic six-year country patronship between Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Laureus SA, the partnership has supported the Foundation’s goal of enhancing social impact in a bid to expand efforts and achieve the ambitious agenda of positive, sustainable change and influence, to enable the youth to become active economic participants in society.
For more information on Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa projects, please visit: http://www.laureus.co.za/