Sport replaces violence as a weapon to promote youth

By Elliot Bullman

Laureus is a charity that works to improve the lives of young people through sports initiatives and it arrived in Mexico in November of 2016.

Since 2000 Laureus Sport for Good has supported 150 projects in 36 countries to combat social problems affecting young people, such as crime, violence, discrimination, HIV / AIDS, lack of education and health, among others.

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To promote these projects it has sought the support of important living legends of the sport who become the voice and image of the mission of the organization. 61 athletes make up the Academy Members, who are also the jury for the annual Laureus World Sports Awards. In addition, more than 180 active and retired athletes have joined as ambassadors of the different projects.

The most recent member of the Academy is former British heavyweight world champion, Lennox Lewis, considered the best heavyweight to have been a three-time world champion.

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Lewis´ project is located in Mexico City and is focused on boxing. The first initiative was born in the box club Lupita. Under the name of TRASO it works to create union within the community, reduce violence derived from gangs and give more power to young people.

Lennox's philosophy is very clear and is what drives him to continue to grow his foundation: "All the kids need is an opportunity."

Laureus Academy Member Carles Puyol inducted Lewis into the Laureus World Sports Academy during a visit to the TRASO project in Mexico city. The project works to address gang violence, build community cohesion and empower young people. Joined by Puyol and Lewis, children aged seven to ten took part in a mix of boxing and life-skills sessions designed to develop and strengthen their values.

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Laureus Academy MemberLennox Lewis said:“It’s a great honour to be a Laureus Academy Member and even better to be in Mexico City, where we support projects which help to improve the lives of young people here.

Working in co-operation with a number of leading Sport for Development organisations, Laureus-supported projects in Mexico City are using boxing, martial arts and football to tackle gang violence, youth crime and drug-related issues, as well as helping children from poor communities to secure a better education through funding and training opportunities.

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