Laureus YES programme creates future leaders

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– Doug Ryder (Laureus Ambassador), Ian Banner (Laureus Trustee), Morne Du Plessis (Chairman Laureus South Africa) and Craig Nossel (Laureus Trustee)

23 Youth Celebrated at the Laureus Youth Empowerment Through Sport Graduation

The 2018 Laureus Youth Empowerment Through Sport (YES) programme concluded with a special graduation celebration at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Rosebank, Johannesburg on the 20th of November.

One of the highlights of the graduation ceremony included an inspirational youth panel discussion facilitated by Laureus’ Cyndi Mendoza, and featuring William Mokgopo (YES alumni), Jose Peffer (YES Protégé, Waves for Change, East London), Mamodisa Mamabolo (YES Protégé, Grassroots Alexander Gauteng) and Mayur Bhana (Marketing Manager Mercedes Benz Cars).

Laureus believes that the youth are the greatest force to bring about social change in their peer group, inspiring and motivating other youth to become positive role models.

The Laureus YES programme, launched in 2012, is aimed at developing youth leaders from a range of sports for social change organisations across South Africa. The programme focuses on equipping youth with the technical, vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills needed to develop sustainable livelihoods. The programme targets school leavers, ages 18 to 25, with particular attention given to young people who are passionate about sport and the upliftment of local communities.

The YES programme is the official internal mentorship programme for Laureus Sport For Good South Africa. Twenty-three youth from various Laureus-funded projects participated in the programme which concluded with nineteen YES Leaders and 4 YES Change Agents graduating.

“Once again, the Laureus YES programme has been blessed to work with a group of young leaders who have excelled in using coaching and life skills to spread action of social change through sport. We have no doubt that they will continue going from strength to strength elevating communities across the country. We could not be prouder.”

explains Laureus SA Chairman, Morné du Plessis.

As part of the programme, YES leaders completed two separate training workshops in February and September this year.
At the workshops Laureus staff and accredited service providers ran courses that equipped participants to be more presentable, influential and job-ready. The leaders also completed assignments throughout the year, which on completion receive credits towards an NQF Level 4 qualification.

At the end of the programme the YES leaders return to their respective projects, taking the knowledge gained and tools provided to help ignite positive change in their lives and local communities.

“The group of young people we have this year, have truly proven to be passionate and resilient. Despite many challenges and barriers faced individually, they have supported one another and kept each other accountable to the goals they set out to achieve at the 1st workshop. We have received great feedback from the several organisations which our YES Leaders currently work in, which speaks volumes to the growth observed in our leaders throughout this year. They have been trained and equipped with various tools which they have been applying to their everyday life, and they have seen the benefits in doing so. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for each of these bright young leaders as they strive towards their medium and long-term goals,” concluded Jill Joy Benting , Laureus YES Programme Manager.

Laureus Ambassador Natalie Du Toit with Laureus Trustee Deshun Deysel

Laureus Sport for Good South Africa funds, supports and promotes the use of sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation has a network of over 20 sport for social change organisations in over 100 communities using sport in innovative ways to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges facing our youth. Since its inception, Laureus SA has raised over R80 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of over 100k young people in South Africa.

The Foundation’s overarching goal is to use sport as a tool for social change, to help young people overcome the limitations imposed by challenging social issues including poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS.

For further information on the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa projects, please visit

For further information on the Laureus Sport for Good Global Foundation: