WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM, June 18, 2011 – Some of the best players in the world served up a feast of exciting, world-class polo at the highly successful Laureus Polo Cup, staged at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor.
Argentinian stars Eduardo Heguy, Juan Pablo MacDonough, Juan Martin Nero and Eduardo Novillo-Astrada took part in a thrilling match which raised over €75,000 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Argentina.
The action was watched by an enthusiastic celebrity audience including Laureus World Sports Academy Members Hugo Porta and Daley Thompson. They were joined by former England football player Jamie Redknapp and his wife Louise, plus radio broadcaster DJ Spoony.
The victors were a team representing Laureus Global Partners IWC Schaffhausen, who won 5-4 against a team sponsored by Mercedes-AMG, the Performance brand of Mercedes-Benz – but the real winners were disadvantaged children all over Argentina, who benefit from the help they receive from Laureus.
Teams were: IWC Schaffhausen – 1.Kassem Shafi, 2.Saeed Bin Drai, 3.Eduardo Heguy, 4.Juan Martin Nero; Mercedes-AMG – 1.HRH Prince Bahar Jefri Bolkiah, 2.Amr Zedan, 3.Eduardo Novillo-Astrada, 4.Juan Pablo MacDonough.
In addition to sponsoring one of the teams, renowned Swiss watch-maker IWC Schaffhausen donated a special Laureus edition Ingenieur Automatic watch from the IWC Vintage Collection in stainless steel, only 1,000 of which are being manufactured, which was auctioned to raise additional funds.
Argentinian rugby legend Hugo Porta, President of Fundacion Laureus Argentina, said: “I am overwhelmed that so many people have been so generous to give us the means to change young people’s lives in my own country. This has become a great event. Everyone who has come to Windsor has not just had a great day out, but has contributed to an important cause. I would like to thank all the great polo players who took part and to thank all the individuals and companies involved who have shown such an enormous sense of social responsibility.”
Jamie Redknapp said: “It was a lovely day and lovely to see so many beautiful animals who are all so perfectly trained. I don’t often come to polo, but it was well worth seeing such high class sport. It was great to see how much Laureus raised from the day. One of my special treats was to meet Daley Thompson, who was one of my sporting idols when I was young.”
Eduardo Heguy, who was captain of the winning IWC team, said: “This was a great event in one of the most important polo clubs with a huge tradition. It was an excellent match – especially because my team won – and it was an honour to be part of this special Laureus event and even more important to know that we have been able to help many kids through sport. It’s a great gift to be able to do that.”
The mission of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is to utilise the power of sport to address social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Laureus supports 84 projects worldwide and since its inception in 2000 has raised over €40 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
The Fundacion Laureus Argentina was founded in May 2003 by Hugo Porta, who is currently very much involved in its daily management, while also making time to visit the outstanding projects supported by the Foundation. The headquarters are in Buenos Aires with the Foundation’s work extending to distant Argentine provinces that greatly benefit from its backing. Currently, the Foundation supports six projects:
Club Deportivo Barracas in General LaMadrid, Buenos Aires, which uses sport as well as a traditional Argentinian dance, the murga, to reinforce the importance of education, community, and values.
Union y Amistad de San Isidro Project in Buenos Aires, which has set up sports activity sessions and educational workshops in an area where crime, drugs, alcohol, violence and firearms use is prevalent.
West City Project in Mendoza, which uses football and hockey to address crime, delinquency and drug abuse.
Club Atletico Platense, based in Laprida, which works with 400 children and young people promoting equal opportunities and a community spirit through sport offering figure skating, football and library activities.
Fundacion El Desafio in Santa Fe, which aims to improve the quality of life of children and families from vulnerable groups and help to eradicate the causes of poverty by promoting community development.
Virreyes Hockey which offers a curriculum based on education through sport for girls and young women from a vulnerable neighbourhood. Its general objective is to provide a space for integration and personal development by promoting the values inspired by sport. These sport-inspired objectives include perseverance, friendship, respect, tolerance, responsibility and honesty.