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  • Laureus: Sport for peace.
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    Change the game for kids.

    Laureus: Sport for peace.

Ambassadors for a better world.

In the 'Laureus Sport for Good Middle East' basketball project, Israeli and Palestinian girls go about something totally unthinkable. They play together in a team. They are a single team! In doing so, they prove that it really does work; that it's possible to play sports peacefully together with one another and to help each other out. Even if the political and cultural situation in the background remains tense. 18-year-old girls Liraz and Malak are two friends who have taken part in the peace project. Liraz is Israeli and Malak is Palestinian. Both are shining examples of what it means to overcome animosity between different nations and religions. At the beginning, it wasn't easy for the girls to come into contact with one another. But by playing together, a door opened – not just for joint sports, but also for a better future. They laugh together, hug each other, motivate one another and thus strengthen the community spirit. They are doing something which is utterly unthinkable in the cultures in which they have grown up.


Laureus: Sport for peace.
Laureus: Sport for peace.

Laureus ambassador: Chamique Holdsclaw.

Chamique Holdsclaw is one of the most successful female basketball players of all time and played for the US team that won gold at the Olympics in the year 2000. She accompanied the Mercedes-Benz visit to the project in December 2017 in Jerusalem and whilst she was there, she was also nominated a Laureus ambassador. Chamique Holdsclaw grew up in tough conditions in New York and knows all about social and political hurdles. She became one of the most successful female sports personalities in her country and wishes to give something back to the young generation. She also believes that sport can change your life: 'Basketball teaches you how to look after your community. Sport doesn't discriminate. It teaches you to respect others and to work as a team. Plus, physical and mental health go hand-in-hand.' She plays and practices with youngsters with a jovial mood and provides them with some helpful tips. Not just to do with basketball, but also in relation to dealing with difficult situations in life. She says: 'You all represent change – you can all make lots of change happen.'


Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

Besides the basketball project, through the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Mercedes-Benz is also supporting a football project from the Peres Center for Peace. Here, schoolchildren of various origins play peacefully with one another. This project has also shown that, by doing sports together, bridges can be built.

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation has developed comprehensive pedagogic methods which make use of an array of instruments in order to bring together children and youths of various origins and religions (Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, as well as people from the entire Middle East and North Africa – MENA). They use sports as a medium for removing fear and emotional barriers as well as for creating an unparalleled cross-border and intercultural dialogue which serves to equip younger generations with the necessary tools to become constructive and influential examples in their own communities. In this project, it can be seen on a daily basis that sport has the power to unite youngsters from various cultural and religious backgrounds.


Laureus: Sport for peace.