Coe, Becker and more join Laureus summit in London

Marianne Bevis reports from the first ever Laureus Sport for Good Global Summit in London this week

laureus summit
A multitude of Olympic and world champions took in London 2012's centrepiece during the summit

laureus summit

Since its creation 2000, Laureus has raised over €40m for projects that have helped improve the lives of more than 1.5m young people. This week, the first ever Laureus Sport for Good Global Summit comes to London.

The laurel crown is an enduring symbol of honour, of respect, of recognition for great achievements. From victors in ancient Rome to today’s Olympic champions, the wreath of laurels has””with simple understatement””crowned the exceptional.

How appropriate, then, that Laureus is now the name behind a unique movement that unites the best in sporting achievement.

Laureus was founded with the simple yet visionary aim of harnessing the power of sport to break down barriers and inspire positive change for children around the world.

It’s a mission that has, in turn, attracted the support of ambassadors whose names resonate worldwide, both within and beyond their own fields of achievement.

Ed Moses, Sebastian Coe, Steve Redgrave, Mark Spitz, Michael Johnson, Franz Klammer, Emerson Fittipaldi, Boris Becker, Kapil Dev, Bobby Charlton, Nadia Comaneci, Kip Keino, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marcus Allen and Ian Botham are just a few of the 42-strong Laureus Academy who have converged on London for the first-ever Laureus Sport for Good Summit this week.

The three-day event that has brought them together with representatives from Laureus projects across 32 countries to address the theme: How we can use sport to tackle youth violence and other problems in society today.

Academy members regularly visit Laureus projects so that young people have the chance to come face to face with their sporting heroes, and some will do just that in London this week when many of these sporting giants visit the Lilian Bayliss Centre in Lambeth.

The centre is a converted school that is fast becoming one of the most inspiring hubs of community-based sports activity in London. It runs a wide range of sports activities, including a midnight basketball league and a multi-sport crime prevention programme.

Speaking on the eve of a special workshop on crime prevention, two-time Olympic champion Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, called for greater use of sport as a weapon against the social evils threatening society today.

“This is a unique gathering of experts on what makes young people behave the way they do and we can learn vital lessons for the future. At Laureus-supported projects around the world, sport is helping young people to turn away from violence and crime. It is about time we took notice of the power of sport.”

To be inspired by how sport, combined with a little imagination, creativity, hard work and the support of some of the greats of world sport can transform the lives of young people around the world, visit the Laureus website.

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