2017 LA84 Summit Recap – Sport for Good: Using Sport as a Tool for Social Change
By Vaneshia Reed
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO, Laureus Sport For Good Foundation USA, 1984 Olympic gold medalist, 100-meter hurdles
1984 Olympic gold medalist and Laureus Sport For Good Foundation CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley inspired with her talk on the power of sports to change lives. She humbly acknowledged that we don’t have to be Olympic champions to reap the benefits of sport, and that they help prepare us for life and to be better individuals. “I’m a better person, mother, leader and CEO all because I played sports. Every child deserves that opportunity,” Fitzgerald Mosley said.
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Fitzgerald Mosley shared data from a 2017 study conducted by Laureus, which found that the use of sport for social change is rapidly growing. However, organizations often lack adequate funding, which leads them to be understaffed and to have to turn kids away. Half of the organizations that responded said they have a waiting list, while 100 of the organizations that completed the survey admitted that they could serve an astounding 38,000 more kids if they had adequate resources.
Fortunately, organizations like Laureus and the LA84 Foundation are still able to use sport as tool for social change. In her role as CEO, Fitzgerald Mosley works to “help more kids in underserved communities gain access to sports program that improve their health, education, employment ability, and social condition.” Through sports, Laureus pursues youth development to help youth gain useful life skills.
“Problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity were three skills that kids need to thrive,” she said. “What better place to learn those skills than on the playing field?”
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Laureus also works to build cross-sector partnership within communities by supporting organizations and helping them to create a shared agenda for change. This collaborative approach ensures an impact so much greater than if organizations were doing this work alone.
Reminiscing on her life-changing Olympic win, Fitzgerald Mosley urges us all to join the effort to use sport for social change.
“I think back to that hot August day in 1984. It was honestly the most impactful 12.84 seconds of my life. I call that gold medal the gift that keeps on giving. And so I really want all of use to join this #PlayforAll movement so that we can give that gift to more and more kids around the country.”
Learn more about the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation USA here.