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“Sport has the power to change the world… It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”- Nelson Mandela
We believe that sport has a uniquely powerful ability to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems, specifically through the practice of Sport for Good – the use of sport as a tool for social change. Youth sport programs can have a powerful impact on a young person’s life when they are designed to educate and led by a trained coach. This is true for all sports, from cycling to soccer. In over a decade of supporting Sport for Good programs, Laureus has measured their improvement of young people’s social skills, self-confidence, physical fitness and educational attainment.
Sport has proven to be a cost-effective intervention that is flexible given environment. It can also be tailored to address social issues that are locally relevant. This method has been recognized by the United Nations, who acknowledge:
Sport and play are human rights that must be respected and enforced worldwide. Sport has been increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts…Sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. – United Nations Office on Sport for Development & Peace
It is especially impactful in underserved communities, where youth are best positioned to benefit from positive engagement that is affordable. By training the coaches that lead these sport programs, we can make nationwide reductions in obesity and violence. That is why we want to make this a reality for every child in the United States.
For sport to reach it’s full potential for social change, the sector using sport for development needs funding and visibility. That’s why we provide the backbone structure for the movement to grow. We invest in youth sport organizations nationwide and equip them to measurably improve the health, education, employability and social cohesion of the youth that they serve. Our investments provide programs the funding, measurement tools and the support of athlete ambassadors to help them unlock new opportunities and reach a more youth. We also support the training of coaches, who direct the programming as mentors to the youth that are engaged.
We also play a convening role, bringing together organizations in the sport for social change space to learn from another, share resources and establish effective practices. We aim to increase the visibility of Sport for Good by supporting our partners and helping advance their organizational missions.
Learn more about our approach by exploring the following programs: