What is Laureus? A brief history

AT THE very first Laureus Awards Ceremony in Monaco in 2000, President Nelson Mandela, the Patron of Laureus, made the visionary speech which has become the philosophy of Laureus and the driving force which has shaped its work.

President Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.”

To achieve these goals, Laureus has become much more than a spectacular red carpet event held each year to celebrate the best in sport. It is now a year-round charity dedicated to effecting social change through sport.

Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy – sporting legends such as Boris Becker (right), Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Lord Sebastian Coe, Marcel Desailly, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Michael Johnson, John McEnroe, Edwin Moses, Martina Navratilova, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Sir Steve Redgrave and Mark Spitz – volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/Aids, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity.

The academy currently numbers 47 and new members are elected from time to time. The newest additions are British Olympic rowing star Sir Steve Redgrave and Australia’s five-times motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan. Members all share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and to improve the lives of young people around the world.

Now the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony not only honours the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen in the world each year, but also acts as a showcase for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, increasing global awareness of its work.

Laureus operates with the support of its founding patrons, Richemont and Daimler and its global partners, Mercedes-Benz, IWC Schaffhausen and Vodafone. See www.laureus.com for more information.