We currently support more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries as they seek to use sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, and we are doing so as a proud contributor to the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, as we play our role in changing the world by 2030 – and beyond.
In 2019 alone, Laureus Sport for Good supported 341,027 children and young people, and it’s important to remember that each of them has their own unique story and their own special role in our family.
Almost half of those participants (49%) were girls and young women, showcasing our commitment to advancing the rights of girls and women and empowering them as champions of their own lives and leaders in their communities.
As an organisation founded under the patronage of one of the greatest anti-racism campaigners, we at Laureus stand firmly against racism and are proud to support programmes that use sport to end discrimination in communities around the world.
And that’s been underlined by the challenging developments of 2020 that have led to such a devastating impact on sport at both an elite and a grassroots level.
Some of the impact of which we are most proud – from reducing isolation and improving mental health, to providing young people with a safe place to play and learn – has been more challenging than ever in a time of social distancing.
Almost all of us have faced challenges as a result of the pandemic, but for the world's most vulnerable young people those challenges have been exacerbated.
It is vitally important that sport gets the support it desperately needs so that young people can benefit from increased fitness, self-discipline, teamwork and the guidance of positive role models through targeted and innovative programming and strong, committed relationships.
Grassroots sport relies upon funding, be that from charities or from the income that drips down from elite sport, which of course relies upon broadcasting and spectators in stadia for its main funding.
With fans mostly restricted from attending high level sport, the threat to lower level and grassroots sport is at a critical point.