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In 2020, Laureus like many organisations and corporate entities, was not immune to the impact of Covid-19. The challenges were rife, but it only motivated us to dig deeper and to lean into the strength of our network.

This allowed us to remain relevant and intentional in our efforts to facilitate meaningful change on a micro level through the YES Programme, and on a macro level through our continued support to our programmes.

We also started looking to a post-Covid future, our funding commitments, how we operate, and how we remain sustainable. This saw us launch our Laureus Supporters’ Club – a donations platform that allows everyone to become a thread in the fabric that is the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz South Africa, one lucky supporter had the opportunity to drive away in a brand new Mercedes-Benz A200 Sedan. 

Through our collective efforts in 2020 we were able to enjoy a degree of success, and I can proudly say that we are the heroes of our story. We salute each champion of the brand at Trustee, Country Patron, Ambassador, Funding Partner, Consultant and Staff level for showing up – in person and online – to ensure that Laureus continued to brighten lives and communities in all corners of our territory.

I would once again like to extend a special thanks to Mercedes-Benz South Africa who, despite their own challenges, did not waiver in their commitment to assist us.

Finally, Brett Graham moved from Laureus SA into his role at our Global office. While Brett was officially appointed to the role of Global Director: Strategy and Operations earlier in 2020, he remained in SA to help us steer the Laureus SA ship through the trouble waters of Covid-19. I would like to wish Brett and his family all the best on this exciting new adventure, and thank him for his ongoing and dedicated service to this organisation. This is not a matter of “goodbye” though, but rather “see you soon.”

As we consolidate in 2021, Marlene Coetzee-George will serve as acting CEO in a part time capacity and for an interim period, as we continue to harness our respective expertise and skills to build a sustainable future.

2021 will see us emerging stronger, more determined and as always committed to the cause of Sport for Good.

Morné du Plessis

Chairman, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation SA


Laureus’ core concept is simple, brilliant and daunting: to create global awards that recognize the achievements of today’s sporting heroes; to bring sportspeople together; united in achievement but divided by sporting code. Once that community is brought together, putting to work their reach and support and investment of Laureus’ Founding Patrons and Partners, it creates a powerful message that can help social programmes around the world that use sport as a tool for social change. That message, simply, is Laureus Sport for Good.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s goal is to help young people overcome the limitations imposed by challenging social issues including poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS. To do this, Laureus has supported and assisted a worldwide programme network of over 200 programmes, in 40 countries, for the past 20 years.

The mission was inspired by the words of Laureus Patron, Nelson Mandela. At the very first Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, 2000, 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. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”


The end of 2020 felt like a milestone moment. After a year in which we all grappled with the ongoing pandemic, our lives disrupted, separated from our loved ones and friends, there was something cathartic about the calendar changing. Perhaps it was just that we had been telling ourselves for so many months that this was just a year we had to survive, and that better things were around the corner.  Of course, the hundreds of thousands of children and young people supported by the programmes that Laureus funds faced an even greater challenge. Already at risk, already isolated, already facing violence, poverty, lack of access to safe spaces, lack of technology and lack of opportunity, their plight was exacerbated by the pandemic. The challenges that we all faced were multiplied for them.  All at Laureus are deeply proud of the way our partner programmes stepped up to the plate – innovating, adapting, improvising and finding new ways to still reach those young people, to keep them safe and change their lives.

We worked hard to support those sterling efforts. We brought together partners from around the world to launch the Sport for Good Response Fund, providing new grants to organisations in various countries.. We adapted our existing grants to best serve the changing needs of our partners. As so many of those partners turned to digital delivery for the first time, we worked with UNICEF to develop new online child safeguarding tools. We created our own virtual spaces across multiple timezones for our programme leaders to come together, sharing problems and solutions. And we were proud to work with so many of the Laureus Academy Members and Ambassadors in their own efforts – whether fundraising for local health services or working to share the latest public health advice to as wide an audience as possible.  The truth, though, is that while the end of 2020 felt like a milestone, the battle is not over. We face the same challenges in 2021. The pandemic is ongoing, and even when vaccinations, masks, social distancing and other methods finally defeat it – and they will – the social impact will be felt for many years, and felt most by those at-risk youth we work so hard to support. That is always the case with disasters. Buildings are rebuilt after the earthquake, neighbourhoods are cleaned up after the flood, but the disruption to education, to normal life, to the services that were previously seen as vital but had to be stopped at the height of the crisis have a knock-on effect. Generations end up forgotten.

At Laureus, we pledge we will not forget them. We will be here in 2021, in 2022, and for as long as it takes to prove President Mandela was right when he said that “Sport has the power to change the world.”  We thank all of you: our Global Partners Mercedes-Benz, IWC Schaffhausen and MUFG; The Ignition Group, The Cape Wheel, Tsogo Sun and our other funders and supporters in South Africa; the Academy Members and Ambassadors who champion our work; and most of all those community leaders who continue to devote so much effort and energy to standing up for, protecting and empowering the world’s most vulnerable children and young people. We know you will continue to work to help change their lives. We will be right by your side.

Adam Fraser
Chief Executive of Laureus Sport for Good


Andy Barrow visits Living Legends

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Laureus Golf for Good Classic

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New Vitos from MBSA

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20 years of Laureus

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Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020

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Laureus Sport for Good Quiz

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Programme Activations 2020

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Sport for Good Peloton

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Dan Nicholl visits Fight With Insight

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Laureus Supporters’ Club

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Treasure Box - life skills

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Grant Lottering, Injury and ...

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Laureus YES Programme

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Laureus YES Graduation 2020

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Laureus Ambassador Andy Barrow visited the Living Legends programme Rustof Primary School in Strand, where he spent some time with the programme’s young participants and motivated them to keep moving forward, no matter the odds.

A rugby fanatic from a young age, Andy’s dreams seemed dashed when he broke his neck in a collapsed scrum at age 17.

But not even a catastrophic injury could keep him away from the game he loved. Andy became a wheelchair rugby player, he retired in 2012 as a three-time Paralympian, multiple European champ, and having competed in three World Cups.

Today Andy travels the world as an international speaker, mentor and Laureus Ambassador, and makes it his life’s mission to inspire others.

“It is important that disability is recognised as another strand of diversity. Everyone needs something to aim for, and I want to show others that they can do whatever they set their minds to.”

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is a standing appointment in the Laureus calendar, with a peloton of riders representing the Foundation tackling the world’s largest timed cycle race year on year.

2020 saw over 65 riders, including our ambassadors Schalk Brits, Corne Krige, Grant Lottering and Doug Ryder, take on the picturesque 110km in aid for #SportForGood. All riders had a fantastic Race Day!

Big thank you to Tsogo Sun, who provided a delicious “grab & go” breakfast on race morning!

Dan Nicholl visits Fight With Insight

Ambassador Dan Nicholl visited Laureus-funded Programme Fight with Insight, and assisted with an extensive food delivery exercise.

Grant Lottering puts
Brakes on the Most Extreme
Endurance Ride Attempted in SA

45 hours 43 minutes into his #xtremeSA2020 Im’possible Tour, miracle cyclist Grant Lottering was forced to stop his toughest solo fundraising ride due to injury and the elements. He was attempting to cycle over 2 000km on gravel roads , including 22 300m of climbing, in just 100 hours.

Laureus Golf for Good Classic

The 2nd Laureus Golf for Good Classic took place on the Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at the Val de Vie Estate, in November 2020.

Some 88 golfers teed off for an afternoon of fun on the greens with their participation raising in excess of R315 000 for Laureus South Africa. Take a look at a round up of the day here

Laureus Quiz

Highlights from the Laureus Lockdown Quiz

Laureus Supporters’ Club

Laureus Supporters’ Club member Marieta Dercksen was the lucky winner of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz A200 Sedan, valued at over R600 000!

Laureus YES Programme 1st Residential

The 2020 Laureus Youth Empowerment through Sport (YES) Residential took place in February, and 15 delegates from Laureus-funded programmes across SA congregated for a series of holistic workshops and sessions that focused on their personal and leadership development.

Each participant received a Samsung tablet, thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Ignition group, which will help them stay connected and also work towards their Sports Administration (NQF Level 4) Certificate via ETA.

New Vitos from Mercedes-Benz South Africa

Mercedes-Benz South Africa were proud to announce that they had extended their vehicle sponsorship to Laureus Sport for Good South Africa for another year.

The sponsorship provides the foundation with two Vitos which allows them to transport delegates, visit programmes and continue to fulfil their ever important role.

“We would like to thank Mercedes-Benz South Africa for their ongoing support, it is partners like them that allow us to continue to assist thousands of youth across South Africa. The world we find ourselves in currently is a very different one, and sport for good programmes are more vital than ever – offering children a safe space to enjoy sport while learning life skills,” said Morné Du Plessis, Chairman Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa.

Programme Activations 2020

What the programmes did in 2020

During 2020 our programmes continued to innovate and think out of the box to impact the communities they serve, and Laureus has never been prouder to be a part of these organisations. We watched programmes pivot the way they do things in order to remain relevant and most of all, keep the well-being of all the communities they serve, top of mind.

Treasure box

Sport for Development organisations were very active across South Africa, playing a vital role in supporting children in vulnerable areas keep busy and learn valuable life skills during and after school.

Laureus YES Graduation 2020

The Laureus YES Programme hosted its first ever virtual graduation on 27 November 2020, where twelve YES Proteges and three YES Change Agents (YES Alumni) graduated as YES Leaders.

The graduation was held via Zoom, where all Graduates and the YES Management team enjoyed an engaging evening together as we reflected on the past year, barriers conquered and celebrated goals achieved.

During the ceremony we also announced special awards and bursaries awarded for studies in 2021.

2o years of Laureus

On 25 May 2020, one of the most powerful speeches in sporting history was spoken on stage at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards. Standing alongside 24 of the world’s greatest living sporting legends,

Laureus’ First Patron Nelson Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world.”

Mandela continued: “It has the power to inspire.  It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.  It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.  It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”

Sport for Good Peloton

Laureus Ambassadors, Team NTT Pro Cycling, traditionally celebrate Mandela Day, on 18 July, while take part in the Tour de France. With this not being possible in 2020, Team NTT Cycling, teamed up with Zwift and hosted 2 x 67-minute virtual races on 18 July 2020.

This event was livestreamed and received participation of 2 600 riders across the 2 slots.  These riders included Ambassadors, Academy Members, Partner and the general public.  It was a fantastic way to celebrate our Founding Patron, Nelson Mandela, with the world not being able to get together in person.


Amanda Dlamini

Former Banyana Banyana Captain

Corné Krige

Former Springbok Rugby Captain

Deshun Deysel

High Altitude Mountaineer

Graeme Smith

Former Proteas Cricket Captain

Natalie Du Toit

Olympian and Paralympian

Zanele Mdodana

Former South African Netball Captain

Butch James

Former Springbok Rugby Player

Cynthia Tshaka

Sports Presenter

Desiree Ellis

Former Banyana Banyana Captain

Jacques Kallis

Former Proteas Cricketer

Grant Lottering

Endurance Cyclist

Schalk Brits

Former Springbok Rugby Player

Dan Nicholl

Sports Presenter

Elana Meyer


Jean De Villiers

Former Springbok Rugby Captain

Lucas Radebe

Former Bafana Bafana Captain

Quinton Fortune

Former Bafana Bafana Player

Schalk Burger

Former Springbok Rugby Player

Cecil Afrika

SA Sevens Rugby Player

Dean Furman

Bafana Bafana Captain

Ernst Van Dyk


John Robbie

Rugby Legend

Maps Maponyane

Media Personality

Ryan Sandes

Top Endurance Athlete

Shaun Pollock

Former Proteas Cricket Captain


Laureus World Sports Awards 2020

Oksana Masters

Dirk Nowitzki

South Bronx United

Lewis Hamilton

Sashin Tendulkar

South African Rugby Team

Egan Bernel

Simone Biles

Spanish Basketball Fed

Lionel Messi


Sports for Good Award

Comeback of the Year

Sportsman of the Year

Sportsman of the Year

Breakthrough of the Year

Sportswoman of the Year

Action Sportsperson

Sportsperson with Disability

Laureus World Sports Lifetime Achievement

Exceptional Achievement

Team of the Year

Sporting Moment 2000-2020

Country Patron
Mercedes-Benz South Africa

The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused multiple setbacks in South Africa’s development. At the same time, we have seen how solidarity can drive value-added collaborations that lead to more sustainable communities. During this global pandemic, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has experienced the importance and strength of partnerships. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a great reminder that through strong partnerships, we can achieve positive outcomes.

Our seven (7) year country patronship with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa continues to play an imperative role to fulfil our aspirations and responsibility to develop the South African youth and enable them to positively contribute to the economy.

The claim that sport can be a great tool to foster social change and cohesion has never been more true. Despite the national state of disaster resulting in the lockdown and subsequently the postponements to physical sporting events, MBSA was delighted to have their Friends of the Brand join the series of virtual conversations with Laureus ambassadors, and partners, as they shared stories of hope and resilience with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa Supporters’ Club members.

Community support made it possible

In aid of the Foundation, our contribution of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan towards the Laureus Supporters’ Club draw is another effort to promote community support and encourage the public to actively participate in shaping their communities and enacting change. This initiative has enjoyed heartening support from the public and demonstrated the will of South Africans to help one another during times of crisis.

In 2021, we continue to expand our efforts and ambitious agenda of positive social impact through sports by supporting the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa. We are confident that this strategic partnership will go a long way in liberating the youth and renewing their hope of a better and brighter future through the power of sports.

Johannes Fritz
Co-CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa & Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars


Laureus supports the following SDG’s

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

For more info on each of the programmes – Please click on the programme image below



Morné Du Plessis
Johannes Fritz
Marlene Coetzee-George
Deshun Deysel
Iain Banner
Dr Craig Nossel 
Ntambi Ravele


A special thanks to these brands who continue to support Laureus and believe in the Power of Sport
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