Laureus Awards 2018: Benedict Cumberbatch, host for ‘Sporting Oscars’, visits Sport for Good Programme

Benedict Cumberbatch tried his hand at football when he visited the Laureus-supported Active Communities Network football session in South London

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis
Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch will host the 2018 Laureus Awards Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Laureus

Hollywood actor and Arsenal supporter Benedict Cumberbatch tried his hand at football when he visited the Laureus-supported Active Communities Network football session in South London.

Ahead of hosting the Laureus Sports Awards in Monaco on 27 February, the star of Sherlock, The Imitation Game, and Dr Strange also spoke with volunteers and participants involved with the Programme. Young people from the local community use sport as a pathway to make positive lifestyle choices, learn life skills, and progress into education, training and employment programmes.

Having hosted both the 2014 Awards in Kuala Lumpur and the 2015 Awards in Shanghai, Cumberbatch is only too aware of the valuable work Laureus Sport for Good undertakes around the world, but this visit was an opportunity to learn first-hand the ways in which sport helps young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in South London.

The 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards will celebrate sporting success and achievement over the past calendar year, while also recognising the true value sport can have in uniting communities and acting as a positive force for change.

Cumberbatch said: “Later this month, the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards will celebrate sporting excellence, but we’ll also recognise and celebrate the good which can be achieved through sport at all levels.

“Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 100 programmes around the world, and having spent time with the young people from the Laureus-supported Active Communities Network programme in London today, I’ve seen the transformational power sport can have in helping young people better themselves in their everyday lives.”

Cumberbatch will host the ‘Oscars of sport’ in Monte-Carlo on 27 February.

Nominees

Laureus Sportsman of Year

Mo Farah, Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Froome

Laureus Sportswoman of Year

Allyson Felix, Katie Ledecky, Caster Semenya, Mikaela Shiffrin, Garbine Mugurza, Serena Williams

Laureus Team of Year

French Davis Cup tennis team, Golden State Warriers, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, New Zealand America’s Cup Sailing team, New England Patriots, Real Madrid

Laureus Breakthrough of Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Antony Joshua, Caeleb Dressel, Sergio Garcia, Kylian Mbappe, Jelena Ostapenko

Laureus Comeback of Year

FC Barcelona, Roger Federer, Valentino Rossi, Justin Gatlin, Sally Pearson, Chapecoense

Laureus Sportsperson of Year with a Disability

Marcel Hug (marathon), Bibian Mentel-Spee (snowboard), Oksana Masters (cross-country skiing), Yui Kamiji (wheelchair tennis), Jetze Plat (ironman), Markus Rehm (long jump)

Laureus Action Sportsperson of Year

John John Florence (surfing), Nyjah Huston (skateboard), Mark McMorris (snowboard), Anna Gasser (snowboard), Armel le Cléac’h (sailing), Tyler Wright (surfing)

Laureus Best Sporting Moment (public vote at myLaureus.com)

Billy Whizz is Back, Brave Bradley’s Fight, Eternal Champions, Wave for the Kids, When Tears Turn to Smiles

Selection process

· The six nominees in each category are selected following a ballot by the world’s sports media.

· The winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on 27 February.

· The Awards were launched in 2000

· The Laureus World Sports Academy comprises over 60 living legends of sport, including Franz Beckenbauer, Sergey Bubka, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Kapil Dev, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Ruud Gullit, Chris Hoy, Kip Keino, Edwin Moses, Martina Navratilova, Steve Redgrave, and Mark Spitz.

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