15 Years of Laureus: A brief history

May 2, 2014

Like many of the world’s great ideas, this idea came over dinner.

Two men sat one evening discussing their love for sport. During their conversation they realised something: there was no Nobel Prize or Oscars-style awards for sport.
One of those men was Johann Rupert, Chairman of luxury goods company Richemont, and that one conversation, just a few years later, would lead to the idea that was Laureus.
In 1998 Richemont and Daimler teamed up to get the project off the ground. Within two years, the Laureus World Sports Awards was launched. The first edition, held in Monaco, enjoyed the presence of guest of honour Nelson Mandela.
Mandela delivers a speech at the first Laureus Awards
The sport world finally had an annual event at which the year’s greatest achievements could be celebrated.
But to achieve the goals set by the founders, Laureus needed to be much more than a one day a year event. It had to be a year-round charity dedicated to promoting social change through sport. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was born. Its work would focus on helping young people overcome challenging social issues such as poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS.
While the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony has created a unique place for itself in the sporting calendar, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation has achieved acclaim for the work it does with its supported projects for underprivileged young people around the world.
The very first project was the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) based in one of Nairobi’s largest slums, a place where disease is widespread and AIDS a serious problem. The project had pioneered the use of football as a tool to support young people of the area and give them new hopes and ambitions in life.
The growth of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation over the last 15 years has been remarkable and the list of projects within the Laureus network currently stands at over 140.

Find out how you can support the work of the Foundation by getting involved with one of our fundraisers at

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