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Categories: HEADLINES, Capacity Building & Resource Mobilization, Sport
Cape Town, April 25, 2014 - The 2014 Laureus Youth Empowerment Through Sport (YES) programme kicked off in Cape Town from 21-27 April with a “Bringing Out the Champion Within” -themed week for the 35 participants aged 18-25.

The seven days were packed with training and once in a lifetime experiences to promote their leadership skills. A highlight was the Panel Discussion hosted by Vega School of Brand Leadership which portrayed the vision and ethos of the Laureus Motto - “Sport for Good”.

The Panel included a representative from:

  • Laureus South Africa Country Patron - Discovery Health,
  • Laureus Founding Partner, Mercedes-Benz South Africa,
  • Laureus Ambassadors - Schalk Burger and Elana Meyer
  • Chairman of Laureus South Africa - Morne du Plessis

The YES programme was launched in 2011 to play an active role in community upliftment by empowering youth leaders to use sport to transform their communities.  This year’s successful candidates were selected from a range of sport for social change organisations across South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Ghana, most of which are supported by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.  The YES Programme will equip them with the technical, vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills needed to develop sustainable livelihoods and initiate social change.  Extensive job training will be delivered by the programme partners: eta, New Horizons and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

Nasiphi Khafu, Laureus YES Graduate, now employed as the Laureus YES Coordinator commented: “YES has changed my world, it has given me the skills and confidence to realise my dreams and achieve them! Laureus, especially YES - is my family.”

Chairman of Laureus South Africa, Morné du Plessis, commented: “The YES Programme is a great example of Laureus using sport to unlock the potential of our youth across Africa.  We are passionate about giving future leaders the skills and inspiration to reach their potential and inspire their communities”.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation funds and promotes the use of sport as a tool for social change.  The Foundation has a global network of over 140 sport for social change organisations using sport in innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges facing youth. The YES programme is the Foundation’s first in-house programme.   


The Patron of Laureus is Nelson Mandela.  At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President 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. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.
Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good.  Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.
The Laureus Academy members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change.

The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people. The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems like obesity. The Academy is supported in its work by the members of the Laureus Ambassadors programme, a select group of current and retired sportsmen and sportswomen who have achieved sporting greatness, plus non-sporting personalities who have made significant contributions to the sporting community during their careers.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year.  The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today.  The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 120 countries and territories. 

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports over 140 community sports projects around the world.  The 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards were held in Rio de Janeiro on March 11.


Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.
Mercedes-Benz, the world’s oldest automaker, can look back on a unique tradition. It is the most valuable automotive premium brand which stands for quality, safety, comfort, design and sustainable mobility. Mercedes-Benz enjoys an excellent reputation, particularly in the field of safety. Many pioneering technical innovations that are standard automotive features today were first seen in a Mercedes-Benz car. The Mercedes-Benz engineers will in the future consistently reinvent the automobile – with the same enthusiasm and innovation as Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz in 1886. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has been actively supporting professional and amateur sport for decades and has become established as a dependable partner in the fields of motor sport, football, golf, horse riding and tennis.  Mercedes-Benz is a Global Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since the beginning of the Foundation's operations in 2000, Mercedes-Benz has shared and supported the goals and values of this worldwide charity programme where sports play the core role in the fight against social issues - Laureus has become a vital element of the corporate social responsibility programme of Mercedes-Benz.

IWC Schaffhausen
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing watches of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of Haute Horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design.

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