Tuesday, February 1, 2011


ABU DHABI, February 1, 2011 – Laureus World Sports Academy Member Gary Player, one of the greatest golfers of all time, is to host the Laureus Golf Challenge, presented by Mercedes-Benz, at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, as part of the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

The Laureus Golf Challenge, which will take place on Sunday, February 6, is one of several high-profile sports events taking place in the lead-up to the Laureus Awards Ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel the following evening.

Among the great names of sport competing in the event will be Laureus Academy Members Bobby Charlton, Sean Fitzpatrick, Franz Klammer, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta and Steve Waugh.

Gary Player, one of only five professionals to have won golf’s grand slam of all four major championships, designed the Saadiyat Beach course and will play the 17th hole with each of the pairings.

Gary said: “I am delighted to be at Saadiyat Beach, which is a course I am very proud of, to spend time with the golfers taking part and maybe even giving them a tip or two. Golf is booming in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region and it is fitting that we should be able to enjoy a high class golf day as part of this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards. I would like to thank everyone who is taking part and especially Mercedes-Benz for supporting this event. It should be a great day.”

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is returning to Abu Dhabi thanks to the support of Aabar Investments PJS, who will once again be Host Partner for the event.  His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said: "The Laureus World Sports Awards is a unique event. It was magnificent, a great success for Abu Dhabi when it was held here last March. The whole event was really superb. We will certainly try to do something special for this year’s Awards.”
Kevin Spacey will once again host a glittering Awards Ceremony to be attended by leading sportsmen and women from around the world. In the audience at a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace last year were Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen and American actors Kyle MacLachlan and Michelle Rodriguez.  Among the names of the winners of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards announced in Abu Dhabi were Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Jenson Button, Kim Clijsters, Natalie du Toit and Stephanie Gilmore.
Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new; a blend of Arabic hospitality and mystique where a mixture of culture and tradition come together against a backdrop of the most modern world-class infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is developing a reputation as a great sporting venue as host city for the FIFA Club World Cup, the Etihad Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, all highlights of the sporting calendar in the city.
Aabar Investments PJS is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It invests in various sectors including aerospace, real estate, automotive and financial services. Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports 83 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €40 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one and a half million young people. 
To apply for accreditation for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards, go to www.laureus.com/accreditation

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