COLORADOAVALANCHE.COM — “Friends,” a global anti-bullying effort based in Stockholm, Sweden announced Friday that it will begin working in the United States and announced that Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will serve as the group’s ambassador.
Founded in 1997, Friends has worked to provide pre-schools, schools and sports clubs with resources to combat bullying in a variety of venues including the recent additions of cyber, online and workplace bullying. Last year, the Friends International Center Against Bullying opened in Stockholm as a means of centralizing worldwide research and resources.
“I’m proud to support what Friends stands for,” said Landeskog, a native of Stockholm. “Any effort that helps make young lives happier is worth the work. I look forward to helping Friends start a global movement to inspire young people to take a stand for respect and diversity.”
Landeskog, 21, last month committed to assisting Stockholm’s amateur hockey association in building better athletes on and off the ice – including anti-bullying efforts. His work with Friends in Sweden, and now the United States, will include appearances, camps, videos and other projects in support of anti-bullying initiatives.
“We are extraordinarily proud to present Gabriel Landeskog as our new global ambassador. He truly represents the core values of Friends and he will inspire young people as a role model,” said Lars Arrhenius, secretary general at Friends.
Landeskog is quickly becoming an outspoken advocate for equality and respect. Earlier this year, he teamed with high school athletes for the You Can Play Project, an effort against homophobia in sports.
Landeskog, a National Hockey League Calder Trophy winner (rookie of the year) was the youngest team captain in NHL history when the Colorado Avalanche named him captain at age 19.
For more information on Friends, visit FriendsInternationalCenter.com.
ColoradoAvalanche.com contributed to this story.