To celebrate International Day of Sport for Peace and Development (IDSDP2017), Play for Change (PFC), a charity which aims to improve the lives of children through their sport and education programmes, is proud to announce that Anne Wafula Strike MBE, GB athlete and Paralympian, has become Ambassador for the charity. Anne is a well-known figure in the world of Paralympic sport and is a passionate advocate and campaigner for disability rights. Anne will support the charity in raising awareness of the power of sport to improve lives.

Anne’s phenomenal commitment to sport has seen her become the first wheelchair racer from Sub-Saharan Africa to compete at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens in the T53 400m, 800m, and 1500m, and then subsequently representing Team GB from 2006. Anne now has a passion for extreme challenges, becoming the first Paralympian wheelchair racer to conquer the notorious Tough Mudder challenge in Europe. Anne, who also sits on the UK Athletics Board, is inspired to help PFC’s mission of creating positive impact to children and communities through sport.

Not only is Anne an award-winning athlete but her exceptional charitable efforts, through supporting other charities and her own Foundation, led to her being awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her services towards Disability Sport and Charity work at Buckingham Palace in 2014.

Anne was awarded the 2016 Play for Change award at the annual TV Sports Awards. The award is given to a top-class athlete who is responsible for extraordinary social responsibility work. Previously Rio Ferdinand won the award for his charitable efforts.

Growing up, Anne suffered constant stigma due to her disability resulting in her having to leave her village as a child. It was through sport where she built up her confidence and self-belief.

Anne, having had her life transformed by sport and her outstanding commitment to charity, is a great role model and inspirational Ambassador for PFC.

Anne Wafula Strike says: "I am proud to be an ambassador for Play for Change. Sport has changed my life and I am honoured to support a charity with the global mission of improving children and communities through sport. Young people are the future and with PFC, together, we can positively impact the future. I am really looking forward to enabling children to have life-changing opportunities through sport."

Speaking about IDSPD, Anne continues: "This day is very important, this is how we bring everyone together! Irrespective of colour, gender, creed, background and ability, sport is the language that everyone can speak and this is the day where we should all be speaking that language. Sport has a very positive energy around the world and that needs celebrating."

Andrea Radrizzani, Founder of Play for Change says: “We are really excited that Anne Wafula Strike has come on board as an ambassador for Play for Change. Her incredible story and admirable commitment to promoting sport as a tool to help change lives will enable Play for Change to strengthen its message, especially as we embark on an exciting and transformative time with the expansion of the new Play for Change signature sport programmes."

We interviewed Anne about the importance of sports in her life and IDSDP2017, click here to read the exclusive interview.  

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