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6 August 2012
Team Specialized lululemon Olympic riders meet in London in support of Right To Play.
London, UNITED KINGDOM (August 2nd, 2012) Eight members of the elite international women's cycling team, Team Specialized lululemon, connected live from London on Thursday with children in Right To Play programs in Rwanda.
Using innovative video technology from Right To Play's global partner Polycom, the Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors – Chloe Hosking (Australia), Clara Hughes (Canada), Trixi Worrack (Germany), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Amber Neben (USA), Evelyn Stevens (USA), Katie Colclough (GB) and Loren Rowney (Australia) – took the virtual field trip together to celebrate sport and showcase the power of play.
Throughout the year, the team has been dedicated to raising awareness about Right To Play and supporting programs in Rwanda, with specific focus on empowering girls through play.
Speaking to roughly 30 Right To Play children, youth, Coaches and staff in the capital, Kigali, the cyclists inspired their audience with stories of their Olympic and professional experience. The video link was also an opportunity for the women to see the impact of Right To Play first hand.
"Listening to them talk about the gender issues – the fact that little girls don't always get the opportunities and Right To Play is there trying to open doors for those girls to play; it's so neat," said Amber Neben. "Sport is universal, and it doesn't matter whether you're male or female; it opens opportunities for kids to learn to set goals, to be disciplined, to work hard; to learn how to succeed, to learn how to fail, to keep trying – all of those things. You see it happening."
With six of the eight riders in attendance competing in the Olympics (10 Team Specialized lululemon members competing overall), a later question and answer period with the audience of journalists and cycling enthusiasts turned to a discussion of the women's sport.
"There are so many fathers out there that want to give their little girl a chance, and they might see that (women's cycling) is a way to give their girl a chance to do something cool or to support women and young girls doing something that displays a woman in a beautiful and strong and healthy way," said long-time Right To Play Athlete Ambassador, Clara Hughes.
Clara is the only athlete to win multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter Games, ending her Olympic career with a 5th place finish is the Women's Time Trial a day earlier. With the race behind her, the Right To Play event was also an opportunity to announce that Clara has joined Right To Play's International Board of Directors.
Right To Play is Specialized Bicycle Components' global charity partner.