The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized Laureus’ Sport for Good Cities initiative as a crucial part of its health programme for the very first time. The acknowledgement comes seven years after Laureus launched the very first Model Cities programme. In its public health brief, the WHO cited the initiative as a role model and a part of its international health policy.
Sport for Good Cities is a community programme first launched in New Orleans, USA, in 2014, which has since been rolled out in major cities including London, Paris, New Delhi, Chicago, New York and Hong Kong. The programme takes on a unique ‘bottom-up’ approach which is dedicated to providing financial aid to underprivileged and deprived communities in cities. The programme focuses on building coalitions at the grassroots level across various non-profit, governmental and sporting bodies to better the lives of the citizens.
The programme focuses on a specific part of every city to create maximum impact. Channeling the power of sports to bring a transformational change in the lives of the stakeholders, the initiative has been enthusiastically received by thousands of beneficiaries. Utilizing its international connections in the world of sports, Laureus is performing the task of a good Samaritan by aligning the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ESG and CSR targets and providing the voice-less youth and local leaders the chance to make themselves heard.
Adam Fraser, CEO of Laureus Sport for Good, was very enthusiastic about the recognition from the WHO. “The World Health Organization’s recognition of Laureus, our Sport for Good Cities and the role of the Sport for Development sector in general marks a huge opportunity to influence social reform through the power of sport and connect private and government funding with community leaders and agents of change in underserved communities around the world,” he said.
Talking about the power of sports to transform lives and societies we live in, Laureus Academy member and the first Arab, African and Muslim woman to win a gold in the Olympics, Nawal El Moutawakel, said, “Sport has the ability to transform not only lives, but societies. This is why the Sport for Good Cities initiative is so important, as it directly benefits entire communities.”
The benefits of the programme is ten-fold and felt through the various fabrics and layers of the societies it works in. Some of the key takeaways include:
Laureus’ Sport for Good Cities is a standing testament to the transformative power of sports.