Dubai: A top Laureus Sport for Good Foundation official endorsed the ‘Sport vs Crime’ conference, saying such a forum conveys a strong message of integrity in sport.
Speaking to Gulf News, Ned Wills, the Foundation Director of Laureus, said: “It is important to have such forum to convey the strong message of integrity in sports. This is the fourth time this conference is being held successfully and it is gaining in credibility and success.”
Elaborating on the foundation’s role in educating and inspiring society, Wills said: “We are a global organisation and we support over a 150 programmes around the world now. A number of these programmes in particular use sport to tackle issues of violence and youth crime. We aim at trying to divert kids away from criminal activities into positive activities to build the community.
“Though ours is a slightly different spin on the sports and crime theme, we are nevertheless working with many different organisations and police forces around the world to try and use their expertise to implement programmes and help kids out of trouble. This process is also inspired by sports itself and sporting heroes. We use sporting icons to inspire those kids to be positive members of the community.”
Talking about the sporting heroes who are inspiring youngsters, Wills said: “Apart from chairman Edwin Moses, we have members like Boris Becker, Michael Johnson, Martina Navratilova and Sir Bobby Charlton. Forty-six members of the Laureus world sports academy are scattered across the world. The academy members are incredibly supportive of the work we do — which is to use sport to inspire young people to be positive contributors to society.”
Wills also stressed on the importance of avoiding the menace of match-fixing. “The more discussion on it the better it will be to raise the issues and highlight the issues and challenges that face sport in general. It will only be positive to bring all the actors together — from sportsmen to top administrators to discuss the issues and try and find a way to get through to them.”