An event organised by Save the Dream, which featured a day of sport activities held in Times Square, New York. The event featured Olympic gold medalists, Para-athletes and international music stars; all united together to call for universal access to sport and was sponsored by Qatar Airways.
Save the Dream, an initiative of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) in partnership with the Qatar Olympic Committee, works to empower youth through sport towards a more fair and inclusive society, while promoting inter-cultural dialogue and social innovation through the power of its values.
Working with a team of Athlete Ambassadors, captained by soccer legend Alessandro Del Piero, Save the Dream brought an incredible day of sports to New York City, with the help of Qatar Airways. Throughout the day, hundreds of children participated in a variety of sports activities on a specially constructed soccer pitch built in the centre of Times Square.
“Sport and global aviation are perfect ways to bring the world together,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. “We are proud to sponsor Save the Dream, to help support this worthwhile cause and to help and encourage youth everywhere to achieve their dreams in sport and life.”
The day, which included the official participation of the UN Alliance for Civilization, UNICEF, the UN Office on Sport for Peace and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, commenced with a clinic offered by Street Soccer USA. This was followed by a fencing exhibition, a ceremony for the newly crowned winners of the New York City Marathon and an address by athletes and leadership of the Special Olympics. Organisations from all around world, such as Barcelona Foundation, the Global Child Forum, ROTA, Aspire and the Qatar Stars League featured their programmes to promote education through sport.
Coming off their Italian Dancing with the Stars win, Guisy Versace and her dance partner Raimondo Todaro also graced the stage with a performance. Finally the day included appearances from international soccer player Cobi Jones, Olympic Gold Medalist Penny Heyns, football legends Fernando Hierro, Fernando Sanz, Edgar Davids and Christian Karembeu, the Italian rhythmic gymnastics team, and 2006 World Cup Champion, Alessandro Del Piero, all capped by a performance by Youssou N’Dour, who Rolling Stone Magazine once described as “undoubtedly one of the most beloved artists in the entire continent of Africa.”
Youssou N’Dour composed and performed the “Save the Dream” song, which is available for downloading from many music platforms. All revenues will support Save the Dream’s projects facilitating access to sport and education to young refugees.
Qatar Airways was also the exclusive sponsor of the Official Reception, which took place in Times Square at the NASDAQ Market and was attended by high-level UN officials, representatives from government, sport organisations and civil society from all around the world, including major US-based foundations. The airline donated two Business Class tickets as part of the evening’s auction.
Qatar Airways has been heavily involved in global sports, through its sponsorship of the world-famous FC Barcelona. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways provided 15 young football players from developing countries across Africa with the opportunity to reach the heights of international football through training and development at their Academy located in Senegal.