Missy Franklin Appointed to Board of the Laureus Sports Foundation

Missy Franklin in Sri Lanka in 2015. Photo Courtesy: Buddhika Weerasinghe

Missy Franklin has been appointed to the Board of the Laureus Sport Foundation. It is an organization she has been a member of, but is now on the board of the worldwide organization that champions gender equality in sport.

Franklin made the announcement on social media.

“It is with SO much pride, joy, and excitement that I can finally announce my new appointment to the Board of the Laureus Sport Foundation. Being an Academy Member has been one of the most enlightening and educational experiences of my life, and now to be a Trustee I truly feel the need to pinch myself. I couldn’t be more passionate about the work that Laureus does all around the world, and I am so thrilled at the opportunity to work with such incredible athletes and humanitarians who are just as passionate about making the world a better place through sport. We will continue to use this incredible platform and the over 250 projects we fund in over 50 countries to overcome inequality, discrimination, and to fight for gender equity among many other things,” Missy Franklin wrote.


Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin wrote this about the Laureus Sport For Good after its review in July

Back in March, on International Women’s Day, along with my other fellow women Laureus Academy Members, I was asked to spell out my wishes for the year ahead.

I remember saying: “My hopes center around every young girl waking up and knowing that she has the opportunity to chase her dreams and fight for her goals every single day.”

This is a passion for me. I want to see girls, and young women, realize their potential.

What I love about being a member of the Laureus Academy and supporting the work of Laureus Sport for Good, is that through our programs we get this done. It’s not just about being the best athlete, it’s about being a more capable and fulfilled person with better life-skills and hopes of a better future. Sport is the most amazing avenue to make that happen.

That’s why I loved reading the latest edition of the Laureus Sport for Good Review for 2020 which spells out the continuing progress which girls and young women are making in sport, wherever you look.

Figures from the review show grass roots sports with strong or equal levels of female involvement are up: netball by 73%, swimming over 200%, dance 112%, volleyball 11% and track and field by 41%.

These statistics mark significant trends. Laureus Sport for Good is a global network which funds, supports and evidences the impact of more than 250 community sports programs around the world, which in 2020 directly involved more than 270,000 young participants. It’s not a worldwide census, but it’s a fascinating glimpse of what is going on.

And the trend is strong in many sports often seen as a ‘male only’ preserve, where girls are challenging the norm. One of the biggest female increases – surprisingly, or maybe not – is in boxing and martial arts, where Laureus supports several programs which are principally female based or appeal to all.

It shows how committed Laureus is to its pledge of gender equality, and in its support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – including via its ‘Women & Girls’ Social Focus Area, which makes grants to organizations using sport to create equality, empowerment and safety for girls and young women.

I want every young girl to have something to look up to, to aspire to, and to learn from, because we all got to where we are today by standing on the shoulders of those that have come before us. That’s what Laureus programs deliver in more than 50 countries and territories around the world.

It’s heartening to see. And another step on the road.

I think after the 18 months we have had, we need that message more than ever.

— Missy Franklin

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