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“It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, you just need to get up resilience and perseverance is what will get you there.” Those are the words of Youth Empowerment through Sport Programme Manager, Jill Benting, who looked on as the 2018 class of Yes Graduates received their certificates of recognition in Johannesburg. Benting is one of the many voices in the latest Power of Sport podcast with Jean Smyth that also includes a special insight from the foundation’s founder, Johann Rupert, recalling the extraordinary way in which renowned explorer Mike Horn became a member of the Laureus Academy. The YES graduation was hosted at the Mercedes Benz dealership in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and was a culmination of an inspiring year. The day was supported by a number of  ambassadors including Natalie du Toit, Amanda Dlamini and Dan Nicholl, among others, as well as the Board of Trustees all attended the event. Also in attendance was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Mercedes Benz South Africa, Dr. Joachim Schmidt. He delivered an impassioned speech which resonated deeply with everyone present as he had been fundamental in the establishment in the relationship between the two brands right at the very beginning. Jose Peffer from Waves for Change in East London, told the podcast that being a part of the Yes programme will enable him to see his own dreams realized, while he also paid tribute to someone who had played a special role in changing his own life. “I have set out a few goals for myself in life that I know I am capable of achieving. The past has not been easy but because of all the barriers that I needed to overcome I was left with deep scars, but those scars have made me who I am.” Peffer was joined by Mamodisa Mamabolo from Grassroots Soccer who shared her own motto for life: “Resilience and perseverance is what will get you there. “When life knocks the wind out of your stomach, resilience helps you to take the route and say I am still going to run this race and I am still going to obtain my victory, no matter how much it hurts; no matter the scars; no matter the bruises; I will stand up and I will dust myself up and move forward.” The week was followed up by a special event held at the UK High Commissioner’s official residence in Cape Town. This was to showcase the likes of the Waves for Change, Polo Africa and United Through Sport programmes. The event also saw Laureus ambassador Annabelle Bond, based in Hong Kong, announce that the proceeds from her latest Just Challenge event would go towards the Laureus Foundation. His Excellency, Nigel Casey, was the host for the day with the MC duties being conducted by the superb Maps Maponyane. Elana Meyer, Ryk Neethling, Ryan Sandes, Corne Krige were among a number of Ambassadors in attendance along with Academy member Mike Horn. And Rupert took the opportunity to humorously relay to the audience the tale of Horn’s induction into the Laureus family. You don’t want to miss this latest edition of the #PowerOfSport as 2018 draws to a close. You can find all of the relevant information via our social media platforms. To download this episode and subscribe to the series via Omny Radio To download this episode and subscribe to the series via iTunes    

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