'Sport Laughs In The Face Of Discrimination'



It is more than seven years since we lost Nelson Mandela, ‘Madiba’.  At Laureus Sport for Good, along with the entire world of sport, we will never forget him.
On 18th July – the day of his birth – we celebrate Mandela Day each year. We honour his memory, express our gratitude for his life and renew our pledge to continue to live by the values he instilled in us. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, Mandela said: 
"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."
This year, Laureus is uniting the sporting world on what would have been our First Patron’s 103rd birthday, to celebrate his sporting legacy and the impact those words continue to have, 21 years on. 
In Cape Town, both the British & Irish Lions and Springboks teams will unite to show their support for Laureus Sport for Good as Global Charity Partner of the 2021 Lions Series. Both teams will share a united message across social media, showing their belief in the powerful role rugby can play in tackling all forms of discrimination. 
The teams will also promote the Lions Series Charity Challenge, a fundraising initiative uniting Lions and Springboks fans for a good cause. The challenge sees Lions fans taking on Springboks fans in a bid to virtually move the furthest and raise the most funds by the Series’ Third Test on August 7. All funds raised will go into the Lions Series Legacy Fund, with 50% going to Laureus-supported rugby programmes, and the remainder split between Lions and Springboks charity partners. 
In Paris, on the final stage of the 2021 Tour de France, Laureus Ambassadors Team Assos Qhubekka NextHash will record their combined distance of the 108.4km stage, adding their efforts to the Team Green and Gold total in the Lions Series Charity Challenge. 
In Germany, Laureus Ambassador and three-time IRONMAN World Champion Jan Frodeno will go head-to-head with Canadian triathlete Lionel Sanders in the Zwift Tri Battle Royale, in Allgäu, Germany. The pair excel in head-to-head races, and while the spectacle featuring two sporting greats is sure to excite triathlon fans around the world, Frodeno and Sanders may even set a new world record for a full distance triathlon in the process. 
The Zwift Tri Battle Royale follows Frodeno’s inspirational #TriAtHome challenge in 2020, where during lockdown in Spain, he completed a full IRONMAN, raising over €200,000 for healthcare institutions in Girona and Laureus Sport for Good.
Meanwhile, in communities around the world, and despite restrictions caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic, Laureus supported programmes continue bringing Mandela’s words to life, using sport to change their world for the better. 
In Switzerland, in South Africa, in Hong Kong and Japan, in the USA and Italy, the UK and Argentina, the teams working in the Sport for Good offices around the world will stop to pay a silent tribute and to think about how our work owes so much to Mandela and how much more there is to do.
Earlier this week, Laureus published the Laureus Sport for Good Annual Review 2020. The review, which covers the organisation’s global impact last year, detailed a rise in involvement of young women and girls in sport around the world. The report also found that the support and work of Laureus Sport for Good in 2020 helped 97,960 children and young people to feel less socially isolated despite lockdown. Meanwhile, with schools around the world closed, Laureus and partners helped 98,354 children and young people to continue to engage with or complete education.
For Laureus Ambassador and Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, Nelson Mandela holds a special place in his heart and in his home. Hanging on the wall in his bedroom is a quote from Nelson Mandela, a constant reminder and inspiration of the positive role sport can play around the world. 
Eliud Kipchoge, said: “Nelson Mandela inspires me. This quote hangs on a poster by my bed in Kaptagat, as a motivation and as a reminder for me. Actually when I see that poster, I remember that running is also about inspiring others and encouraging people to believe that nothing is impossible. Sport can join people together, it is something that connects the world, and also makes us equal.”

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