The Power of Partnerships

By Edwin Moses, Chairman of Laureus Sport for Good 
2020, a year like no other. We started with so much promise back in February as the Laureus Family united in Berlin to celebrate our landmark 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards. 
It certainly doesn’t feel like two decades since my fellow Laureus Academy Members and I were stood on stage at the inaugural Laureus Awards in Monaco, as our first patron Nelson Mandela addressed those fortunate to be in the room with those words which have gone down in history.

Sport has the power to change the world It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does

At that event, the Laureus World Sport Academy was created and empowered to work together and use our platforms and the power of sport to change young lives for the better. Partnerships and collaboration were important to us at the very beginning of the Laureus journey, and they are even more important to us now. 
At Laureus, we’ve been fortunate to have the support of our Global Partners Mercedes-Benz, IWC and MUFG. For these partners, Laureus is a platform to give back and support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, using the power of sport to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people around the world.
One athlete who has used her platform for good and utilised the positive power of partnerships in 2020 is Naomi Osaka. In September, she won the US Open for the second time in her young career, her third Grand Slam title. Throughout the tournament, Naomi also used her platform to raise awareness for the fight for racial justice in the USA. She’s been an inspiration to us all.
Earlier this year, in partnership with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good, Naomi also launched Play Academy with Naomi Osaka, an initiative that aims to empower girls with greater confidence to face life’s challenges and become future leaders. 
Play Academy aspires to level the playing field for girls through the power of sport. By investing in fun and positive play experiences through sport, and working with coaches who are trained in gender-inclusivity, Play Academy aims to help girls become positive role models.
Today, we are also excited to announce that Play Academy will receive a funding boost with Laureus Global Partner MUFG committing to contribute the initiative through their support for Laureus Sport for Good. 
Naomi’s creation of Play Academy shows how athletes at the top of their game can make a difference to young lives – not just by being role models, but by using their influence to focus on important issues and causes. 
MUFG joining Play Academy, alongside Nike and the other partners helping to drive it, is a great example of teamwork that will benefit so many young people. For me and my fellow Academy Members, this is a wonderful example of the positive power of partnerships. I congratulate and thank Naomi for the inspirational work she’s doing off the court as well as on it.

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