We are Laureus.
Overcoming the social challenges of our times with the
power of sport – this is the mission of the Laureus movement.
"Sport has the power to change the world."
"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. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair."
Nelson Mandela, Patron of Laureus, at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Monaco 2000.
Bringing about social change together.
Some people may at first wonder why a freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner such as Nelson Mandela should choose to act as the patron of a sports movement. It's because he is a perfect match for Laureus. South Africa's first black president played a decisive role in ensuring that the victory celebrated at the Rugby World Cup in 1995 contributed towards reconciling the citizens of a divided country. It is with just such a spirit in mind that Laureus was created: a universal movement dedicated to uniting people behind a good cause through the power of sport.
In addition to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - the charitable arm of Laureus - the movement also comprises the Laureus World Sports Academy and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Together these three institutions not only pay tribute to sporting excellence, but also strive to bring about social change.
A language that everyone speaks.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses the power of sport to overcome the social challenges of our times. More than 90 community sports projects around the world are dedicated to such issues as aids, drug abuse, violence, racial and religious discrimination and also social integration. So far support has been provided to more than 1.5 million children and young people. Since the Foundation was established in the year 2000, Mercedes-Benz has been promoting the goals and values of this not-for profit programme. Laureus has since become an integral part of Mercedes-Benz's commitment to social responsibility.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy carry out their work as global ambassadors for the Laureus Foundation on a voluntary basis. By visiting projects they are able to motivate the children and young people and focus public interest on today's social problems.
The Laureus World Sport Academy comprises 47 top sportsmen and sportswomen, including global superstars such as Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Michael Johnson, Mika Häkkinen, Martina Navratilova, Mark Spitz, Katarina Witt and Edwin Moses.
Between them they have won a total of 60 Olympic gold medals, 34 Grand Slam tennis titles, 6 football World Cup championships 5 Tour de France titles – and now, after their careers, they want to give something back. They are committed to community sports projects the world over.
The "Sports Oscars".
Once a year the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy elect in a secret ballot the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards; the only global sport award that reaches across all disciplines. The Laureus World Sports Awards, the most important awards in the world of sport, are designed to honour top sportsmen and sportswomen from all over the globe. Each year the red carpet at the award ceremony for these "Sports Oscars" is graced by prominent international figures from the worlds of sport and business as well as celebrities. "
And the winner is ..." – the 47 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy decide which sportsman or sportswoman is to receive the coveted Laureus statuette. The nominations for six people or teams in each category are put forward by a committee made up of the world's leading sports editors, writers and reporters from more than 120 countries.
Each year around a billion viewers follow the glittering gala event, which in 2012 took place in London. Incidentally, Laureus is the Latin word for laurel – the universal symbol for victory in sport. But there is more to sport than just victory and defeat – something which the Laureus movement demonstrates through its work each and every day.