Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa hosted its fourth breakfast in a series of annual sport-themed breakfasts at its Bedfordview Lifestyle Centre, sharing the platform with Laureus Academy member, Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador, explorer and extreme athlete Mike Horn. Other guests on the panel of speakers included Schalk van Heerden, vice-president of Grupo desportivo de Manica, a globally funded Laureus project in Mozambique that is currently partnering with Laureus to use sport as a tool for conservation in the communities around the Kruger National Park to prevent an increase in poaching incidents. Mayur Bhana, Vice-President Corporate Affairs for Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Morné du Plessis, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in South Africa, were also part of the panel discussion.
“We are here to make a difference in people’s lives and we believe it can be done in a world-class fashion – that is why the link with Mercedes-Benz, a world-class corporate company, works so well for Laureus,” said Du Plessis about the fruitful partnership with Mercedes-Benz South Africa, who along with parent company Daimler, were founding members of the global Laureus initiative. In 2015 Mercedes-Benz South Africa announced that it will focus a lot more attention on funding to Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa as the new country patron of the foundation in the country.
Well into its second year of this country patronship, Mercedes-Benz South Africa is more dedicated than ever to the work of Laureus and finding ways to support and elevate the positive change sport can make. “Mercedes-Benz South Africa continuously moves forward as a socially responsible corporate citizen and aims to create positive social change with partners such as Laureus in the country,” said Bhana.
Van Heerden echoed the power of sport by stating that he has seen the direct impact that sport can have in the lives of the youth of South Africa and neighbouring country Mozambique, where he has actively worked for many years as part of Laureus-funded community projects. “Introducing sport into the lives of the youth of these communities changes what could have been seen as a social problem, youth unemployment, into a social asset that can be used for the good of the community,” he stated.
Horn is currently undertaking his Pole2Pole expedition which started on the 8th of May, where he will circumnavigate the world from Pole to Pole over two years, across six continents, by alternating between boat, skis, kayak and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Horn documents his experiences on his epic journey on his website www.mikehorn.com and at #Pole2Pole. He first sailed from Monaco to Namibia, then crossed the world’s oldest desert on the Namibian coast and passed through the Okavango delta in Botswana and then on to Cape Town, where he was born.