Sporting legends head for South Africa

Sporting legends Edwin Moses, Boris Becker, Michael Johnson, Martina Navratilova, Kapil Dev, Daley Thompson and Nawal El Moutawak are on their way to Johannesburg to do their bit for Africa’s children.

Two former rugby greats, Argentina’s Hugo Porta and former Springbok captain, Morne du Plessis, as well as tennis legends Ilie Nastase and Monica Seles and soccer hero Bobby Charlton, will also be in Johannesburg.

Johnson, world record holder in the 200m and 400m, has often visited South Africa. On his way to South Africa he visited Uganda and Kenya.

The gathering in Sandton will be the first for the Laureus world sport academy in Africa as they attempt to ascertain how sport can be promoted on the continent.

The Laureus foundation earlier this year honoured South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk. The paralympic star is best known for his wheelchair victories in the Boston Marathon.

Other South Africans involved with the Laureus project are Bronwyn Bock, a former captain of the South African netball team; boxer ‘Baby’ Jake Matlala and former Bafana Bafana soccer players Lucas Radebe and John Moeti.

Moses said the Laureus foundation did valuable work in both Uganda and Kenya.

“Our projects make a real difference to children.”

Johnson said his visit to Uganda had been a very emotional experience.

“When you come from the West, it’s sometimes very difficult to understand problems in a country such as Uganda.”

Former French soccer captain Marcel Desailly also believes that sport was making a difference in Kenya.