Layfield honoured for work with youth
Bermuda resident John “Bradshaw” Layfield has been named a Beyond Sport Ambassador for his work with Bermuda’s youth.
However, Mr Layfield said on Friday: “I really don’t see this as recognition for myself, but rather of the quality of the programme here and the great work being done by all the great people at Beyond Rugby Bermuda.”
The honour has previously been bestowed on Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others.
Mr Layfield, a former WWE World Champion and a wrestling commentator, said he became involved with Beyond Sport after a 2010 meeting with founder Nick Keller in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I went to watch a programme in a shanty town where they were using running to help young people stay in school, get out of the shanty town and make a positive impact in their lives,” he said. Outside of South Africa, Mr Layfield said the Beyond Sport initiative had used the principle of “Sports for Change” to benefit a wide variety of communities.
The foundation has used football to deter young people from joining groups such as Isis, has helped women escape sexual slavery through dance and has helped thousands of at-risk children across the world.
These experiences encouraged Mr Layfield to co-found Beyond Rugby Bermuda, which not only offers rugby training to young Bermudians but also provides a homework academy and family support services through Family Centre.
“What I saw here in Bermuda was what I saw in a lot of places around the world in that people are tempted to join gangs because they want to belong to something,” he said.
“What we try to do is give them an opportunity to belong to something positive.”
In addition to his work with the WWE and Beyond Rugby, Mr Layfield is a successful stock market investor who appears regularly on Fox News and Fox Business and who has climbed a series of mountains as part of his own Seven Summits for Kids campaign.
“I have always worked seven days a week,” he said.
“That’s just what I do. We worked 300 days a year when I was running full time for WWE.
“I don’t know anything other than travelling all week and working seven days.”
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