Laureus Chair and Olympian Edwin Moses, Vice-Chair and Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and participants in PeacePlayers International - Middle East in 2008.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was founded in 2000, with the goal of promoting the use of sports for good around the world. With support of Richemont, IWC Schaffhausen, Mercedes Benz, Daimler and Vodaphone, the Foundation currently supports over 70 projects all around the world, including three PeacePlayers International projects (South Africa, Cyprus and Israel and the West Bank).
Fresh off the annual Laureus World Sports Awards, which were held March 10th in Abu Dhabi, Laureus has released its 10th anniversary magazine. PeacePlayers International’s Co-Founder Brendan Tuohey (who won the Laureus Sport for Good Award with his brother Sean in 2008) was honored to have been asked to contribute his thoughts on the long partnership between Laureus and PeacePlayers International:
Laureus Vice-Chair Boris Becker at PeacePlayers International's City-Wide Tournament in 2007.
In 2002, PeacePlayers International (PPI) was just a small group of individuals determined to make a difference in South Africa and confident that basketball was the right tool to do it. We didn’t have much experience, we didn’t have a business plan, and – what seemed most important at the time – we didn’t have much money. Our initial funds, raised from friends and family, were dwindling.
We were living hand-to-mouth, and I remember thinking that PeacePlayers International might not make it, even though we knew our programme was working. Luckily, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation had enough faith in our organisation to be our first institutional funder, awarding PeacePlayers International a three year grant.
We are proud that seven years on we are now a Laureus partner in three different locations – Israel and the West Bank, South Africa and Cyprus. Without the Foundation’s confidence and support, PeacePlayers International would not be where it is today. No question about it.
Brendan (right) and Sean Tuohey after receiving the Laureus Sport for Good Award in St. Petersburg in 2008.
Years of partnership have created many memories: Laureus Chairman Edwin Moses and Tanni Grey-Thompson coaching PPI’s Palestinian girls’ teams in Ramallah; Boris Becker and Morné du Plessis participating in PPI’s Citywide Basketball Tournament with 2,000 children in Durban; and my brother and I being part of the Laureus World Sports Awards in St. Petersburg, Russia are just a few of the highlights. Equally important, though, has been the relationships and learning that have come through Laureus’ network of Sport for Good organisations. This network represents the best work being done across the globe in this fast growing field.
Back in 2002, the Foundation helped us make the leap from a group of idealistic kids to a sustainable organisation. Today it is still helping us enhance our programmes, broaden our impact, and use our shared learnings to assist other organisations in regions of conflict to develop and scale up their own initiatives.
For more stories of the last ten years of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, you can download the Laureus magazine at the Foundation’s website, here.
Watch the video below to see Laureus Chair and Olympic Gold Medalist Edwin Moses and Laureus Vice-Chair and Paralympic Gold Medalist Dame Tanni Grey Thompson visit to PeacePlayers International – Middle East in 2008.