Laureus has announced tennis star Tim Henman as its latest ambassador, joining a group of current and retired sports personalities, including Andre Villas-Boas, David Coulthard and Lennox Lewis.
Gerald Meier, Laureus Head of Global Communications, presented Henman with his official certificate in London as Tim took to the courts for a practice session with some local kids.
The hugely popular sportsman made an immediate contribution to the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation by running a tennis master-class for high achieving young leaders – just a few hundred yards away from the Wimbledon courts where he was such a hero.
The leaders came from two different projects in London which are supported by Laureus and which use sport as the means to help at risk young people to improve their lives, stay out of trouble and increase their chances of employment.
They received coaching and encouragement from Tim Henman in the event held at the Wimbledon Club, just across the road from the All England Lawn Tennis Club, as a reward for their achievements at their projects.
Henman commented, “I am delighted to be named a Laureus Ambassador and would like to thank the members of the Laureus Academy for asking me. We all know how effective sport can be in tackling problems and bringing people together. That is at the heart of the Laureus philosophy and it is what I believe too.
“I think the work that the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation does around the world is amazing and I look forward to being able to do what I can to help. It was great to be able to get down to it straight away and congratulate all the guys I met on what they had achieved at their projects and how they can use that experience to help other young people.”
Henman, who dominated British tennis for more than ten years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, reached the Wimbledon semi-finals four times. He was and remains immensely popular with the Wimbledon crowd, who now watch the action on a giant TV screen from a viewing area which they have dubbed Henman Hill. He is now a respected TV analyst.
Henman’s best year was probably 2001 when he beat Roger Federer in straight sets on the way to the semi-finals. He achieved his best ever world ranking of No 4 in 2002. In his career, he won 11 ATP singles and four doubles titles. He retired in September 2007. Although not his favourite surfaces, in 2004 he reached the semi-finals of both the French Open and the US Open, losing to Guillermo Coria in Paris and Roger Federer in New York.
Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses, said: “On behalf of the Laureus Academy, we are delighted to welcome Tim as a Laureus Ambassador. You only have to be anywhere near Tim at Wimbledon, or indeed anywhere in England, to know just how popular he is and the respect with which he is held in British sport and in tennis around the world. He showed all the best values of sport when he played tennis and I have no doubt he will be bring those qualities to his work for Laureus.”