BERLIN, February 16 (ANA) – Ahead of Monday’s landmark 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, South African rugby legend Bryan Habana has been inducted into the Laureus World Sports Academy…

Widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time, Habana was inspired to take up the sport when he saw former president Nelson Mandela and Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar lifting the Rugby World Cup in 1995, Laureus World Sport Awards said in a statement on Sunday.

“Sitting in the stands at Ellis Park [in Johannesburg], he dared to dream and went on to become one of the most prolific try scorers the game has ever seen.”

Habana was the star of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, scoring eight tries to help South Africa become world champions, equalling All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu’s single tournament record in the process.

His efforts led to him being named 2007 IRB World Player of the Year

With 67 Test tries, Habana was second in the all-time international try scoring list. As well as becoming a world champion, he won the Tri-Nations, a British and Irish Lions Series, and the European Champions Cup.

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In 2009, Habana was announced as an ambassador for Laureus Sport for Good and in the past decade he had been a dedicated member of the Laureus family, taking time to visit programmes around the world, raising both awareness and funds to support the transformational work of these programmes. He joins the 68 current members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

“Named after two football legends, sport has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether being inspired by it, playing it, or using it as a medium to give back,” Habana said in the statement.

“To be able to witness first hand, both as a fan and as a player, the power that sport has to bring about change, as big as I dreamed, I never in my wildest dreams imagined how much sport would impact my life.

“It is an incredible honour for me to become a Laureus Academy member, alongside sporting icons that are not only legends of the sporting world but have also brought so much joy to so many people across the globe, is something that I am extremely humbled by. The values which Laureus, its academy, and ambassadors stand for are values which I hold very dear to my heart. In my new role as an academy member I hope that I can continue making a difference, no matter how small, in children’s lives around the world,” Habana said.

“Outstanding ambassador and supporter”

Laureus Academy chairman Sean Fitzpatrick said: “Bryan was a world class rugby player and he has been an outstanding ambassador and supporter for Laureus Sport for Good for the past decade. He believes in what we are trying to create in the Laureus World Sports Academy, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the future as we focus on using sport to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people around the word. Welcome to the team, Bryan.”

Laureus Sport for Good uses the power of sport to help young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage. Since 2000, together with its partners, Laureus Sport for Good has reached and helped change the lives of almost six million children and young people, and raised more than EUR150 million for the sport for development sector.

“It was at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000 that Laureus Patron Nelson Mandela spoke the words which sparked the creation of the worldwide Sport for Good movement. Twenty years on, these words still guide Laureus today – ‘Sport has the power to change the world; to unite people in a way little else does’. From sports stars to sports fans and the young people in Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world: Sport unites us,” the statement said.

February 16 – Ahead of Monday’s landmark 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, South African rugby legend Bryan Habana has been inducted into the Laureus World Sports Academy. Photo: Supplied;
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Author: ANA Newswire