Magic Bus: Empowering Girls with Olympic Champion | Sportsmonks

Magic Bus: Empowering Girls with Olympic Champion

Magic Bus

Magic Bus: Empowering Girls with Olympic Champion

Nawal El Moutawakel Marks International Day of the Girl in Mumbai

Nawal El Moutawakel, the 400m hurdles gold medallist from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, has a history of breaking boundaries and challenging stereotypes. On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, she visited the Magic Bus program in Mumbai, India. El Moutawakel, who won the first-ever 400m final for women in LA, achieved more history by securing the first gold medal for any Moroccan athlete and the first by a Muslim woman.

Magic Bus, a project that has been providing education, opportunities, and a pathway out of poverty to children and young people across India since 1999, had the privilege of hosting El Moutawakel and other dignitaries. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, with its longstanding partnership with Magic Bus, has been supporting the project since its inception in 2001. In recognition of its impactful work, the Magic Bus project received the Sport for Good Award at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards.

El Moutawakel’s visit to the Magic Bus program included former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha, who competed alongside El Moutawakel in the 1984 Olympics and shares a special bond with her.

Both El Moutawakel and Bubka are Laureus Academy members, and they, along with PT Usha, are scheduled to attend the IOC session in Mumbai later this week. Their visit served as an opportunity to promote the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect.

Nawal El Moutawakel expressed her inspiration after witnessing the incredible work accomplished by Magic Bus, stating that the project has transformed lives by opening up educational opportunities for young girls and boys. She emphasized the significance of the International Day of the Girl in promoting empowerment and gender equality and recognized the vital role played by Magic Bus in underserved communities.

Jayant Rastogi, CEO of Magic Bus, highlighted the organization’s mission to provide education and life skills to young people, especially girls, who are often out of school. He stressed the alignment of this mission with Laureus’ values and shared the belief that sports can change the world and improve the lives of children and young people in need.

IOA President PT Usha echoed the importance of gender equality and empowering girls through sports, underscoring the need to promote these values. She expressed her enthusiasm about the event and her participation with Nawal El Moutawakel and Sergey Bubka ahead of the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai. PT Usha commended Laureus for its efforts to achieve gender equity through sports.

India, a growing hub of global sports, boasts iconic sports figures such as Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid, and Sachin Tendulkar in the Laureus Academy. The country’s reputation is further enhanced as it hosts the ICC Cricket Men’s World Cup, with matches taking place in ten different stadiums across ten cities.

From October 15-17, Mumbai will host the 141st IOC session, marking only the second time this prestigious event has been held in India. India’s sporting prestige continues to rise, fueled by the success of iconic athletes like Neeraj Chopra, the reigning Olympic, World, and Asian champion in men’s javelin.

Nawal El Moutawakel’s visit to the Magic Bus project served as a testament to the power of sports in making a positive impact on the lives of young people and promoting gender equality and empowerment.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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