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Anja Pärsons enjoys day at the Swedish Youth Leadership Program

26 June 2013
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Anja Pärsons and Eric Villalon with YLP participants

The Youth Leadership Program today was honoured with the presence of Olympic Gold Medallist, Anja Pärsons (SWE). As a Right to Play ambassador, Anja has a special interest in initiatives that use sport as tool to promote positive social change and development.

Arriving this morning, the Swedish Alpine skier was extremely happy to meet so many participants from such a wide range of countries. The Youth Leadership Program is this year being held at the Swedish National Sports Academy, a place where Anja has spent a lot of her professional career training and learning.

Speaking after her time with the participants, Anja expressed her feelings towards taken part in such an event.

“It was a very inspiring experience for me today, to see the participants with so much motivation and passion was amazing. I think that it is very important for athletes in my position to be part of similar initiatives. Overall I had a blast today, and I would like to thank the UNOSDP and Cruyff Institute Sweden for arranging for me to come.”

The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace and Cruyff Institute Sweden had the easy task of asking Anja to come along and participate today. Anja took part in the International Paralympic Committee’s session, alongside her colleague and Paralympic Gold medal winner, Eric Villalon, Spanish Paralympic Alpine Skier.

Kadia, a participant from France working for Foot Soldiare enjoyed Anja’s presence in the classroom today,

“It was really nice for Anja to be in the class today, she really looked like she enjoyed spending time with us. She not only shared her experience from her sporting career, but told us about her personal life and her thoughts for the future.”

Asatu from Liberia works as a volunteer for ‘Restoring our Children’s Hope’(ROCH)

“Her presence with us was motivating, it was a great opportunity to have a popular figure amongst us. For me this was the first time to be with someone like this. She interacted with us all and really made us feel equal. Her passion for sport was very visible, and she made us feel very special.”


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