ATLANTA, GEORGIA – November 12th, 2016 – The Laureus Day of Sport brought together over 65 young people from Atlanta’s Westside community, filling their Saturday morning with sports, music and laughter. The event was a continuation of our going partnership with local non-profit Families First and Mercedes-Benz USA to strengthen the underserved Vine City, English Avenue and Washington Park neighborhoods through the power of sport. The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC also lent their support to the youth-driven initiative as official sponsors of the event.
The day kicked off with stretching and warmups led by Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders alongside Freddie the Falcon, the official mascot of the Atlanta Falcons. Former Atlanta Falcons Robert Moore and Ken Oxendine then spoke about sport as a platform for new opportunities, friendships and better health. Laureus USA Chairman Edwin Moses and CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, both Olympic Gold Medalists, explained Laureus’ work around the world that uses sport as a social change through the support of Mercedes-Benz USA.
All of the youth then split into teams and got to know their team mates, many of which were new faces. Teams then rotated through sports stations that exposed them to a wide variety of opportunities to stay active. They continued to bond with their team mates as they ran, played soccer, basketball, tennis and football together.
We were leverage the support of its many partners across professional and youth sport to present an exciting offering of stations. The football and soccer stations were run by our generous event sponsors the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC. Laureus were also able to incorporate two of their partner programs from their work in New Orleans: Girls on the Run NOLA and ELEVATE. Girls on the Run NOLA ran fun running activities with the support of the local Girls on the Run Atlanta chapter. ELEVATE ran endurance focused basketball drills that had the youth alternating between dribbling and jumping.
The final station gave youth the opportunity to share and discuss what sport means in their own lives, and what sport programs they would like to see in their own community. Their insight were captured instantaneously by a live illustrator, who drew and organized their feedback.
The Day of Sport brought youth of Atlanta’s Westside closer together, while inspiring them to stay active through a wide variety of sports. Together, Mercedes-Benz USA, Laureus USA and Families First will continue to invest in the surrounding neighborhoods through innovative sport programming that will maximize the potential of local youth.