Laureus was established in 2000, but its genesis goes back much further, to New York City, in fact, in the 1970s.
Thus was born Laureus Sport for Good its initial work focusing on helping young people overcome challenging social issues including poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS.
Within six months Laureus was supporting its very first project, the Mathare Youth Sports Association, based in one of the largest and poorest slums in Nairobi. Disease was widespread and AIDS was a serious problem. The project had pioneered the use of football as a tool to encourage co-operation and raise self-esteem in the young people of the community. Over 14,000 youngsters play in over 90 football leagues, where success is measured not just by the goals scored in matches, but by the work the young people do in cleaning up the slums. Young people who have been involved in MYSA since the beginning, have become role models and youth leaders in their community.
The growth of Laureus Sport for Good has been remarkable. By 2019 year, it was supporting more than 160 projects in 40 countries which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young children.
The Laureus World Sports Awards too has grown and flourished and has become the premier global sports Awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. Attended by international figures from sport, entertainment and business, it is a focal point of the sporting year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good to a global audience.