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boarders in Munich isn’t bad. The opportunities for the kids from HIGH FIVE to skate together in winter, however, are few. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Mercedes-AMG are now providing a solution with the construction of a new indoor location with a skatepark. In addition to sports, HIGH FIVE also wants to offer creative projects here: workshops on music, street art, design and photography. “At the end of the day, it’s about having a protected space that we can count on to be available to us all year round,” says Ingrid Gasser, chairwoman of HIGH FIVE. The goal is to create a place for new friendships. And an offering that broadens horizons, says Gasser. The skateboard seems to be exactly the right piece of sports equipment for that. When Mike D talks about his boyhood years on the board, his blue eyes light up. “I owe my inner freedom, my independence to this sport. You find yourself when practicing,” he says. “Skateboarding gives things meaning.” By skating you learn to assess risks and to control fears. The involvement of Mercedes-AMG and Mike D begins with financial support of the Laureus Sport for Good project but it does not end there. The sports car and performance brand from Affalterbach and the former hip-hop superstar from New York City are committed to ongoing involvement with the Munich skatepark: AMG is a non-material backer of the project and is participating in the construction of the new indoor location, organizing and networking. “This is not a checkbook charity,” says Mike D. “This is about real dedication and active support!” If you would like to support the kids of HIGH FIVE and additional Laureus Sport for Good projects, please visit www.laureus.com/donateus Photo René Müller Space for Freedom The warehouse on Munich’s east side is tiled in white. Along the ceiling run exposed wires and pipes. The floor is bare concrete. Every word, every step echoes back from the walls. It doesn’t really look anything like fun. Mike D, however, seems to perceive the room completely differently. Emptiness still prevails, but he already sees rails, ramps and quarter pipes here. Mike D has come to Munich to launch a skatepark. Mike D — Michael Diamond in real life — was a co-founder of the legendary Beastie Boys and, along with his bandmates, was for decades one of the global stars of the hip-hop scene. The Beastie Boys’ time in the spotlight has since come to an end, but the 51-year-old is as creative as ever. He continues to work as an artist and a music producer. Furthermore, in the Bavarian state capital he has assumed sponsorship of the nonprofit association HIGH FIVE, a project of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Germany, Austria that is also supported by Mercedes-AMG. The association makes it possible for children and young adults between the ages of eight and 16 to ride BMX bikes and snowboards and to learn how to skateboard. In doing so, HIGH FIVE primarily supports children and young adults who have started life under difficult circumstances — for example, because they come from low-income or disadvantaged families or have come to Germany as refugees. During their weekly gatherings with HIGH FIVE, these children gain valuable experiences, learn to trust their bodies, become involved in a community and build a whole new kind of self-awareness. Right now HIGH FIVE’s movers and shakers are in the process of transforming the one-time commercial facility in which Mike D now stands into an indoor location with a skatepark. Mike is accompanying the project. In good weather, the infrastructure for skate- Mike D Rapper, producer, skater and surfer Founding member of the Beastie Boys A project that’s close to his heart: wearehighfive.com 21


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