POSTED: Thursday July 2nd 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DALEY THOMPSON GETS ON HIS BIKE TO LAUNCH PERSONAL CRUSADE AGAINST GUN AND KNIFE CRIME

Sebastian Coe and others among names joining cycle ride from Manchester to London Ground-breaking Laureus Sport for Good Foundation report ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’ to be presented to 10 Downing Street

LONDON, July 2, 2009 – Olympic decathlon legend and Laureus World
Sports Academy member Daley Thompson is embarking on a 367-mile cycle
ride starting in Manchester and finishing at 10 Downing Street in
London to highlight the solutions sport can provide to the growing
problems of UK youth crime and in particular gang violence.



Daley will be joined at various stages of the ride - which begins
at Manchester United’s football stadium Old Trafford on Wednesday, July
8 - by supporters including Sebastian Coe, Tessa Jowell, Gary Player,
Matthew Pinsent, Sean Fitzpatrick, Hugo Porta, Roger Black and Kris
Akabusi.



The ride will finish on Tuesday, July 14 at 10 Downing Street where
Richard Taylor, the father of murdered teenager Damilola Taylor, now
Gordon Brown’s Special Envoy on knife crime, will receive a report,
specially commissioned by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, on the
role which sport can play in fighting the evil of gang violence and gun
and knife crime.



The report – ‘Laureus - Breaking the Cycle of Violence’ – makes
recommendations and calls on all politicians, professional sports clubs
and community sports facilities to recognise and invest in sport as an
effective mechanism for tackling the growing problem of youth crime and
gang violence.



During the seven days of the ride, which will route through
Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Newbury and Brent,
Daley Thompson will visit community projects which use sport to keep
young people off the streets and provide positive life lessons.



Daley Thompson has been a member of the Laureus World Sports
Academy since it was founded ten years ago and he has visited projects
all over the world which bear testament to sport as a tool for social
change. He was inspired to focus on the issue of gangs by the research
report, commissioned by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which
demonstrated the similarities between sport and gangs.



He said: “The report really struck a chord. A gang is actually not that
different from a sports team, both provide you with a sense of
belonging, status and excitement. But, while sport also helps you
develop control over your emotions and learn to respect certain
boundaries, being in a gang can be destructive.”



Written in collaboration with the research agency Substance, the
report draws on research and project experience gained by the Laureus
Sport for Good Foundation over the past ten years, and articulates how
sports initiatives can be designed to meet the challenge of urban youth
violence.



It demonstrates that sporting activities aimed at gang members will be
most successful if they work with the existing hierarchies of the gang,
involve peer mentors who are realistic role models, and ensure that the
project is firmly rooted within the local community.



Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “I
have visited over 200 sport and development projects during my ten
years as Chairman and seen with my own eyes the unique ability of sport
to transform the most complex of social challenges. The report that
Daley will deliver to Downing Street reinforces what we know
instinctively to be true. It is time for governments, communities and
sports fans to get behind sport as a positive solution to a number of
social problems.”



And Rt Hon Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics, said: “I have seen
young people from deprived backgrounds go on to achieve great things
through participation in projects such as London Active Communities.
The potential for sport to benefit our nation’s young people is
enormous.”



The full itinerary of the Manchester to London cycle route is:



Wednesday, July 8: First Stage, Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent – 52 miles


09.00hrs – Daley Thompson departs Manchester United FC, Old Trafford, M16 0RA


17.00hrs approx – Arrives Stoke-on-Trent, location tbc


18.00hrs – Visit to Streetgames, Norton Sports Court, Norton Lane, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 8BZ



Thursday, July 9: Second Stage, Stoke-on-Trent to Coventry – 76 miles


09.00hrs - -Daley Thompson departs Port Vale FC, Burslem, ST6 1AW


17.00hrs approx – Arrives Coventry, location tbc


18.00hrs – Visit to Sporting Futures, John Gulson School, Eagle Street, Coventry, CV1 4GY



Friday, July 10: Third Stage, Coventry to Milton Keynes – 50 miles


09.00hrs – Daley Thompson departs Sporting Futures


14.30hrs approx – Arrives Mercedes-Benz UK head office, Charter Way, Tongwell, MK15 8BA



Saturday, July 11: Fourth Stage, Milton Keynes to Oxford – 70 miles


08.30hrs – Visit to Mathisen Youth Centre, Mathisen Road, Bradeille, Milton Keynes, MK13 7AG


10.00hrs - Daley Thompson departs Mathisen Youth Centre


17.00hrs approx – Arrives Trax motor sport project, Red Barn Farm, Woodstock Rd, Oxford, OX2 8JR



Sunday, July 12: Fifth Stage, Oxford to Newbury – 41 miles


09.00hrs – Daley Thompson departs Trax motor sport project


14.00hrs approx – Arrives Narco Riverside Centre, Rosemoor Gardens, Newbury, RG14 2FG



Monday, July 13: Sixth Stage, Newbury to Brent – 64 miles


09.00hrs – Daley Thompson departs Vodafone Head Office, The Connection, Newbury, RG14 2FN


16.30hrs approx – Arrives Brent, location tbc


17.30hrs – Visit to Hornstars, The Pavilion, Stonebridge Recreation Ground, Hillside, NW10 8LW



Tuesday, July 14: Final Stage, Wembley Stadium to 10 Downing Street – 14 miles


09.00hrs – Daley Thompson departs Wembley Stadium, routes via Hyde Park and Millbank


12.00hrs – Visit to London Active Communities Urban Stars, Lillian
Bayliss Old School, Lollard Street, Kennington, London SE11 6PY


13.30hrs – Daley Thompson Cycle Ride finishes at 10 Downing Street



Daley Thompson is one of the members of the Laureus World Sports
Academy, a unique association of 46 of the greatest living sporting
legends. The Academy members volunteer their time to act as global
ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation by using their
influence to highlight the plight of disadvantaged children and
supporting humanitarian projects around the world.



The mission of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is to utilise
the power of sport to address social challenges through a global
programme of sports related community development initiatives, using
sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation supports almost 70
projects worldwide and since its inception Laureus has raised €20
million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of one
million young people.



Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to
bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three
core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for
Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which
collectively celebrate sporting excellence and harness the power of
sport to promote social change.



In addition to the Global partners Mercedes Benz, IWC Schaffhausen
and Vodafone, Laureus and Daley Thompson would like to thank the
following for their invaluable assistance; Mercedes-Benz UK, Evans, IHG
(Intercontinental Hotels Group), Jarvis Hotel Group, Star Trac,
Lucozade and Six Physio in helping to stage the ride.


# # #


Keywords · Olympics · London 2012 · Daley Thompson · Sebastian Coe · Tessa Jowell · Old Trafford


Name: Mal Thompson
Organization: Laureus Foundation
Email:
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7514 2749
URL: http://www.laureus.com/


Please refer all questions to the company listed above issuing the press release. SFC will not be able to assist you with any inquiries and disclaims any content in these press releases.