Olympic swimming sensation Missy Franklin named newest Laureus Ambassador

SAN FRANCISCO, April 27, 2015: Missy Franklin, one of the most exciting swimmers on the planet, winner of four gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, has been named the newest Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Missy, who became the youngest ever winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, at the age of just 18, in 2014, after winning six gold medals at a single world championships, was immediately in action for Laureus.

After being inducted as an Ambassador at the Playworks’ East Bay Junior Coach Conference in San Francisco, Missy announced Laureus’ continuing support for Playworks, the youth development organisation. Laureus’ support of Playworks is made possible through the financial backing of Global Partner Mercedes-Benz USA.

Missy, who was raised in Colorado, is currently a student at the University of California in Berkeley. She said: “As a previous Laureus World Sports Award winner and with my new role as Ambassador, I now have the opportunity to further promote the idea that sport really has the power to create change. I stand behind Laureus’ ongoing commitment to Playworks, as I believe in helping children reach their full potential through sport and inclusive play.”

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “What an honour it is to welcome fellow US Olympian and Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Missy Franklin as our newest Ambassador. Missy is a great example of what hard work and dedication through sport will help you achieve. We look forward to working with her to engage more young people in using sport as a tool to change their lives.”

Thanks to the backing of national patron Mercedes-Benz USA, Laureus will help fund Playworks until 2017, providing US$1.5 million to help support activity in five markets across the country: Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and the Pacific Northwest.

Playworks is the leading US non-profit organisation using the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional health. Playworks currently serves more than 900 schools in 23 U.S. cities, and reaches almost half of a million students directly and through professional training services.

With the additional funds, Playworks can provide their coaches with the resources needed to be successful mentors to young people in need. Through the funding, Laureus USA will continue to support the growth of a national, trained coaching force that will positively impact young people across the country.

At the event Missy also hosted a leadership discussion and a workshop, giving a group of fourth and fifth-graders encouragement, tips and skills on how to run games and play sessions for their peers at school.

Missy Franklin joins an impressive list of former and current sportsmen and women as Laureus Ambassadors, who, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to utilise the power of sport to address social problems through a global programme of sports related community development initiatives. Laureus currently supports more than 150 projects around the world which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people.

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