Sport has the Ability to Reduce Discrimination Among U.S. Youth

NEW YORK (July 30, 2018) –  Laureus USA today released the results of its annual State of Sport for Good Report which revealed that sport can play a significant role in reducing discrimination among children and youth in the United States. The report, which surveyed 546 sport for development organizations collectively serving more than 850,000 youth, also found that these programs are effectively improving their communities, but could be having a much more significant impact with additional training and support.

The State of Sport for Good 2018 (, closely examines the sector of organizations using sport as a tool for social change. The report looked at the role of sport in reducing discrimination in communities, and the capacity for sport for development programs to reach youth with a disability, youth currently engaged in the juvenile justice system, and NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) youth, and how these programs are engaging youth in decision making and employment pathways.

Among the key findings:

  • More than 75% of respondents find their organizations contribute to reduced discrimination in the community;
  • 89% of respondents reported that their program promotes positive engagement for young people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds;
  • 55% of programs reported contributing to reduced crime and violence among young people;
  • Sport for development programs are serving vulnerable populations of youth, 78% of youth participants are low-income, with 41% living in extreme poverty;
  • 44% of young people engaged in these programs have experienced high levels of trauma;
  • Out of all program staff, coaching remains the lowest paid position, despite being the direct point of contact for youth participants;
  • Transportation persists as the key barrier preventing young people from accessing these programs.

“In today’s climate of increased discord and divisiveness we believe the strong message of inclusion sports can provide is more important than ever,” said Benita Fitzgerald Moseley, CEO of Laureus USA. “We are thrilled that sport for development programs are supporting young people in reducing discrimination and positively engaging with their community.”

Also critical to the report were the findings that although the organizations participating in the study are providing an essential service to our nation’s youth, they face a challenging funding environment that limits their potential impact. 53% of organizations reported it was difficult to raise the necessary revenues needed to operate the organization. The report estimates that if necessary resources are available, sport for development programs across the USA could be reaching nearly 200,000 more young people each year.

Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Associate Professor, Sport Management, George Washington University, also contributed to this report and announced key findings on stage at The Laureus Summit on July 18, 2018, the 100th birthday of Laureus Founding Patron, Nelson Mandela.

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