At the beginning of the Laureus journey, it was clear that sport’s ability to promote respect and teamwork would help bring people together on the playing field, but after more than a decade of work around the world, sport has also proven capable of tackling problems that go to the very core of society itself.
Some great examples of this are the Laureus-supported projects using sport to tackle racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice.
It could be bringing people of different backgrounds together on the basketball court, football pitch or athletics track, but the experience of playing together in the safe and friendly environment that sport offers, truly helps youngsters overcome conflicts between one another.
Youngsters taking part may approach the game as black or white, one religion or another, but whilst on the sports field, they are only team-mates.
The game of course may only last a short while, but for those taking part, the experience of having their preconceptions questioned lasts a great deal longer, even for a lifetime.
It’s just like Academy Member Boris Becker has said, the secret and the strength of sport lies in that “it has its own rules, it knows no skin colour, no religion, no boundaries.”