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All Blacks legend Sean Fitzpatrick visits Belfast to announce funding for youth sports programme

All Blacks rugby legend Sean Fitzpatrick returned to Belfast to announce a major funding initiative to help young people in the city.

Fitzpatrick met children at Bunscoil An Tsleibhe Dhuibh Primary School in West Belfast on Tuesday.

As a Laureus World Sports Academy member, the former All Blacks captain, announced a significant new funding commitment to use sport to help more young people in Belfast.

Sean, who played 92 times for the All Blacks from 1986-1998, including 51 Test matches as captain, also gave rugby coaching and played touch rugby with some children attending the school.

During the visit, he met Paul Maskey MP and Councillor Stevie Corr.

Sean was delighted to be back in Belfast and said: "We came here two years ago and it's been so good that we've come back again and our whole philosophy is that sport has the power to change the world.

"Through the Laureus World Sports Academy and the Sport for Good Foundation, we're helping to do that by coming here to west Belfast."

He continued: "We've got a fantastic programme here and hopefully we're going to change the lives of many children.

"We're giving them the tools to keep their lives on the right path."

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and St. James’s Place Foundation, in partnership with Active Communities Network, have been supporting the Urban Stars project in Belfast since 2011.

The programme uses sport as the means to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour for those between 13 and 19, providing coaching sessions in sports such as football, boxing, weightlifting, basketball and dance, as well as offering mentoring and group work opportunities to enhance personal development and leadership training.

Sean Fitzpatrick is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

This involves 47 of the greatest living sports legends, who volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today.

To find out more about the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, click here.

Belfast Telegraph