Coe announces SJA partnership with Laureus

The scene set: the SJA Sports Awards well under way at the Grand Connaught Rooms, where Lord Coe announced via video the partnership between the SJA and Laureus. Photo by Philip Barker

Wednesday’s SJA British Sports Awards also saw the announcement, via video link from Lord Coe, of a partnership with Laureus, the worldwide sports charity organisation.

The 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards are to be held at Central Hall, Westminster, in London on Monday, February 6, ahead of London hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games later in the summer.

During the year, Laureus and the Sports Journalists Association will stage joint events which will bring together the UK media and members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique collection of 47 of the greatest legends of sport.

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “The British media have been excellent over the years in their interest and their support for the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and I welcome this future partnership.

“As a charity that has helped to improve the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people since we opened our doors in 2000, the media plays a crucial role in letting the public know about what we are doing and helps us to spread the message that sport can change people’s lives.”

Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which includes British sports legends Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Lord Coe, Daley Thompson, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sir Steve Redgrave, volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity.

Since its inception Laureus has raised more than €40 million and currently supports 89 sports-based community projects around the world.

Barry Newcombe, the chairman of the 800-strong Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain – the largest national sports media organisation in the world – welcomed the partnership with Laureus, saying, “We’re delighted to forge these links with such a prestigious organisation as the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

“These are important times for sport and the media in Britain, and we hope that by working together with Laureus, our association can help with their great work.”