Cape Town - Former
South African swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, Ryk Neethling, has been named
the latest Laureus Sport for Good Foundation ambassador joining an impressive
list of sports icons who are a part the Laureus Family.
The announcement was
made at the inaugural Laureus Polo Cup hosted at Val de Vie Estate over the
Bloemfontein, Ryk attended Grey College where he excelled in swimming, earning
a place in the South African swimming team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in
He has since been lauded as one of the most accomplished swimmers to
come out of the South African ranks.
He currently holds the South African record
in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1 500m freestyle events and up until August 2006
held the 4x100m freestyle relay world record.
the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation SA, Morné du Plessis, said: “We are
really excited to welcome Ryk to the Laureus stable. Ryk has proved himself to
be more than just a triumphant sportsman. He has been an inspiration to
swimmers across the country, understanding the importance of nurturing talented
sportsmen and essentially playing a vital role as a mentor to champion swimmers
Chad le Clos and Cameron van den Berg. Ryk epitomises the Laureus philosophy,
we are really excited to have him on board.”
“It’s a massive honour for
me to be named a Laureus ambassador - on par with the privilege of being an
Olympian. Not every Olympic gold medalist is invited to become part of this
elite organisation. It shows that you’ve achieved more than just a win but have
done something significant with it, and it is my goal to use my influence for
good,” explained Neethling.
Neethling joins a
remarkable list of current and former sportsmen and women around the world who
support and promote the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
volunteer their time to work for the Foundation whose mission is to use sport
as a means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing
young people today, such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination,
social exclusion, lack of education, landmine awareness and health problems
such as obesity.
Since its inception Laureus has raised over €85 million to
improve the lives of millions of young people and has supported more than 150
community sports projects in 35 countries.