By Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy
I have travelled all over the world in two very different sporting roles: first, as captain of the All Blacks and more recently as chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy. As part of the New Zealand rugby team, winning was not only our mission, it was our reason for being. With Laureus, I am part of an organisation that finds a different purpose in sport.
I was on stage next to Nelson Mandela at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards, in 2000, when he said ‘sport has the power to change the world’. And today I can tell you about a new message from Laureus, one that will be at the heart of everything we do as we continue to find our way out of the pandemic together.
As Chairman of the Laureus Academy, I am privileged to lead a new team of extraordinary individuals. Extraordinary not just because of what they’ve achieved in their unrivalled sporting careers, but for what they have done since ‘retiring’. During our travels together with Laureus, the Members of the Laureus Academy have visited many of the programmes supported by Laureus Sport for Good internationally and have seen the way children and young people in underserved communities use sport to develop skills, resist negative influence - and find hope. The words of our first patron are never far from my mind in these moments: ‘Sport has the power to change the world.’
Today, we at Laureus are reimagining that change with the launch of a new campaign: Everyone Wins. The premise is simple and at the heart of the work we do: In every competition there are winners and there are losers. But every time young people use the power of sport to overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage, the world becomes a better place. Every time children defeat these opponents, everyone wins.
It's a fantastic, crisp and clear message which resonates with me and my fellow Academy Members as we’ve all experienced winning and losing but more importantly have seen what happens when that is applied to lives, not games and competitions. We also all share a very powerful understanding of Laureus’ role in helping create opportunities for more children around the world to ‘win’ at life. It’s why we volunteer and lend our support.
BEYOND THE RED CARPET
The Laureus World Sports Awards are the public face of our organisation and they continue to be a fantastic and unique celebration of sport and its power to change lives as well as the biggest platform to communicate Sport for Good and our year-round work. But we don’t want people to think of Laureus only when you see the superstars of sport on the red carpet in their evening wear. This new campaign will bring to the foreground the great work done by Laureus Sport for Good throughout the year.
We want you to understand the opponents against which young people all over the world face and fight everyday: violence, disadvantage and discrimination. We want you to see the role sport can play in empowering them to defeat these opponents and how Laureus is leading this fight all over the world every single day. And we want you to share our belief that when that happens, everyone wins.