German tennis legend Boris Becker earnestly believes sports is a powerful medium to break barriers and empower impoverished kids around the globe who are battling for equal opportunities.
"Sports is a good international language. It is stronger than religion, stronger than colour, stronger than size," said Becker when he visited IWC Schaffhausen's Boutique at Dubai Mall yesterday to launch the fourth Limited Edition Watch that will benefit the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation charity.
"Our mission is to make life better for kids. We have 70 projects around the world. Our new stop is Abu Dhabi and we are going outside Europe for first time," he said acknowledging that the UAE was a great destination for sport. "Sport is important in this part of the world. Laureus will have important position here as well."
In the context of this year's Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi, IWC Schaffhausen and Vice-Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy Boris Becker are showcasing the fourth in a series of watches, the IWC Portuguese Automatic Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the watch goes to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Becker, through his involvement with the Foundation, intends to give back to society part of what sport has given to him. "As a father of four children and a sportsman, I see it as my duty to support others with my wealth of experience."
He travels the world and regularly visits Laureus Sport for Good Foundation projects. "It's about kids. We are lucky enough to be born in the right environment but all kids don't have the same chances. Our aim is to give equal opportunities for all, whether they be rich or poor," said the three-time Wimbledon champion.
"The importance of sports is I never forget where I came from, the responsibilities I have today. We are trying to make a difference through sports for the kids of the world," said Becker, 43, whose youngest child is just three weeks old.
"Kids, when they get together it doesn't matter where they are from, how rich or poor or whether it is tennis or football. The focus is achieving your goals and sometimes you learn how to lose."
"If you haven't forgotten that you were a kid and how beautiful and important sport is, there isn't a second thought about it. I'm surrounded by great athletes and legends during my times. We seem to get bigger and expand every year," said the London-based Becker who admits it is a demanding but enjoyable job.
Asked to recollect any particular place or country he had been touched, he said: "It is always the same emotion. When you see kids growing up in difficult environments with not much to do and you throw them the ball, all of a sudden they start playing football or basketball or whatever the sport is. They completely forget whatever they have to go back to. The power of sport is unique."
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