Laureus European Summit sends message of hope

Stockholm, May 26, 2017 – “I’m leaving here with hope. Where there is sport, there is hope,” said Pete Edwards from The Running Charity, a Manchester-based organization using running to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem in homeless youth. Speaking at the Laureus Sport for Good European Summit (Laureus European Summit), the Mancunian offered poignant words in light of recent news from the city.

Legendary football coach Fabio Capello attended the Summit, joining small group conversations and learning about the day-to-day work of the programme leaders in attendance. The hugely successful football coach offered his own personal experience of football in countries across Europe, before delivering a motivational message to programme leaders, encouraging them to instil a winning mentality within their organizations.

“Throughout my playing and managing career, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that sport can have. It brings people together, gives them a common purpose and instils confidence in young people. I always worked in organizations with a winning mentality; I encourage you to adopt a winning mentality within your organizations. Be the best you can for the youth,” said Capello.

The Laureus Sport for Good European Summit, hosted in partnership with the Swedish Postcode Foundation, brought together more than 50 programme leaders from organizations across Europe who use sport to change the lives of young people.

The event aptly took place in the sporting surroundings of Bosön on the outskirts of Stockholm, a picturesque campus which serves as a training facility for many of Sweden’s leading and aspiring athletes.

The leaders may have hailed from different countries, and use different sports to reach different outcomes but under the topic of Sport for Good, they connected, shared best practices and focused on the future.

Over the three days, programme leaders collaborated in groups of four or five, the leaders tackled issues they faced in their own communities, such as supporting refugees or promoting gender equality.

The programme leaders also discussed ways in which they can use their own work to tackle issues covered within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Lior Shalom, a programme manager from the Laureus-supported Peres Centre for Peace, was part of a working group on how to use sport to change lives.

“The programmes in the group were really different to what we do, so it gave me different perspectives on how we do what we do. It was great to know we’re not alone, we have the support of a really effective network around us,” said Lior.

Ten leaders from sports programmes based in Sweden also joined the Summit. Contributing with their experiences from local communities in Sweden, they also had the benefit of gaining expertise from Laureus and connecting with like-minded organizations from around Europe.

The event also served as an opportunity to continue the Swedish Sport for Development conversation, with each programme joining an online forumto continue sharing knowledge and experience. —- Laureus

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