Beyond Sport 2014: A Lasting Impact
As the Chair of the Host Committee, Lucas recently delivered the official opening welcome address in Soweto for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards 2014.
A founding ambassador of Beyond Sport in 2009, he said, “the organization has been close to my heart since its inception, and it would be hard to argue that South Africa is not the most appropriate place for the Beyond Sport Summit. To have the opportunity, here in Soweto, to welcome a global audience to share and learn about the power of sport to impact lives, effect change, and inspire the next generation of leaders; is especially fitting, because it continues that mission and message.”
Besides opening the three-day event, Lucas also took-part in many of the Summit’s key programmes. One of these involved Lucas meeting children from his former school, Ikaneng Primary. He stressed to them the importance of education and then joined the kids in playing small-sided football games; continuing to coach, mentor and inspire, like only he can. A regular visitor to his old school, Lucas also gave each student a copy of Highlights magazine, the leading educational publication, which is part of his Learning with Lucas Initiative.
Lucas also took part in a panel, which focused on the investment in youth to inspire innovation, leadership and sustainable impact. His fellow panelist were Ethan Zohn (Co-Founder, Grassroot Soccer), Ella Robertson (Global Bid Director, One Young World) and Matthew Breman (Regional Director, International Youth Foundation). During the panel discussion, Lucas made remarks on the importance of empowering today’s youth and emphasized some key points. “You have to be able to start from the ground and move up. We need role models to inspire the youth. That’s one of the biggest problems in our society. What are we doing to inspire change, with the voices we have?” As always, he highlighted the critical role of education.
Annemarie Elsom, Executive Director for Beyond Sport, said, “Lucas was phenomenal. Really. I can hardly put it into words how much he added to the event. He was ever-present and had time for everyone.”
Lucas enthused, “This event presents a great opportunity. There are a lot of promising young leaders in Soweto. I hope we made a lasting impact, so that they can.”