JERUSALEM, 22 July 2010 - National Basketball Association Superstar and UNICEF Spain Ambassador Pau Gasol delivered a video message to children in Gaza today, throwing his support behind their attempt to shatter the current Guinness World Record in dribbling basketballs. The record-breaking attempt is part of the annual “Summer Games” organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) involving a quarter of a million children across the Gaza Strip.
“Today, against incredible odds, you -- the children of Gaza -- will break the previous Guinness World Record for the most basketballs dribbled at the same time,” Gasol said. “In doing so, you send a powerful message to the world that your hopes and dreams are as real as every other child’s, and that if given the chance, you can achieve the impossible. I believe you can achieve your dreams -- and I say -- Go for it!”
Over 7,500 children have been practicing for weeks to break the current world record for simultaneously bouncing basket balls, which was set in Indiana, USA, in September 2007. The number of balls bounced was just over three thousand.
Facilities for the Summer Games have been vandalized twice in recent weeks by unknown assailants, drawing strong condemnation from the UN Secretary General, who also transmitted a video message in support of the record-breaking attempt.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For further information, please contact:
Chief of Communication, UNICEF Jerusalem
Tel: +972-2-584-0400 (ext 404) / Mobile: +972 547787604 +972-599-6743885
Communication Specialist, UNICEF Jerusalem
Tel: +972-2-584-0400 (ext 405) / Mobile: +972-547787605, +972-599-118848
Communication Officer, UNICEF Gaza
Tel: +972-054-7787602 / Mobile: +972-059-8921836, +972-059-8921836