LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS TO BE STAGED AT GRAND THEATRE SHANGHAI ON APRIL 15

  • Globally televised Awards Ceremony in Shanghai will be attended by many of the world’s greatest sports legends
  • ‘I am delighted that the Awards Ceremony will take place in such a celebrated and iconic venue’ – says Laureus Chairman Edwin Moses
  • Chen Zhongwei of Host Partner HYX Group says: ‘We believe this will be the most unforgettable Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in its history’

  • For more information go to Laureus Awards website at www.laureus.com or in Chinese at www.laureus.cn

  • Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Shanghai from April 13-15

SHANGHAI, January 13, 2015 - The Laureus World Sports Awards, the premier honours event in the international sporting calendar, is to be held at the world-famous Grand Theatre, Shanghai, on the evening of Wednesday, April 15.

Dr Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a group of the greatest living legends of sport, said: “ Having seen the Grand Theatre I think we can promise that this is going to be a Laureus Awards to remember, one of the finest. This is the first time the Awards has been held in China, an exciting new development for us, so I am delighted that the Awards Ceremony will take place in such a celebrated and iconic venue.

The globally televised Awards Ceremony, attended by many legends of sport past and present, will celebrate the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The Laureus World Sports Awards will be supported by Chinese textile and wool company HengYuanXiang Group (HYX), the Host Partner of the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, and will receive the strong support of the Shanghai Municipal Government.

Since it opened in August 1998, the Grand Theatre has staged over 6,000 performances of operas, musicals, ballets, symphonies, chamber music concerts and theatrical plays and is the home of the Shanghai Opera House Company. Sited to the north of the People’s Square, it is one of the landmarks of Shanghai. Designed by French architects ARTE Charpentier, when night falls the lights of the glass fronted building create a dazzling vista.

The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards are selected by the 47 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries, including China. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people through the use of sport.

Edwin Moses said: “My fellow Academy Members and I are delighted that the 2015 Laureus Awards will be held in Shanghai, an exhilarating and vibrant city and I would like to thank the HengYuanXiang Group and the Shanghai Government for their support in making this possible. Laureus is much more than an Awards Ceremony. As our first Patron Nelson Mandela said ‘Sport has the power to change the world’ and it can change people’s lives for the better. We will be using the 2015 Awards to send that message from Shanghai around China and the world to show how sport can make a difference to the lives of every one of us. Laureus has been working in Shanghai for many years and now that we are working together I know this will give us the chance to expand our work here significantly.”

HYX Group General Manager Mr Chen Zhongwei presented his best wishes for the event to be held in the Grand Theatre. He said: “2015 marks the Chinese Year of Sheep. In Chinese culture, the sheep symbolizes good luck, which is the best greeting for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, the first such event in China. The Grand Theatre is a landmark in Shanghai, where all the guests and audience will be impressed by its exquisite beauty. As an international metropolis, Shanghai has been known for its ‘Shanghai Style’ across the world. And this debut of Laureus in China should no doubt take advantage of the geographical strength of Shanghai.

“As the Host Partner of the Laureus World Sports Awards, HYX will show our enthusiasm and experience in successfully sponsoring sports events, so that the co-operation between the two parties will be a valuable combination. This is what is called ‘harmony’ in China. We truly believe that this will be the most representative and unforgettable Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in its history, when all the sports stars and those loving sport will shine in the city together.”

Since their inception, three Laureus World Sports Awards have been won by Chinese athletes: Houston Rockets’ basketball legend Yao Ming was named Laureus Newcomer of the Year in 2003; two years later it was the turn of Liu Xiang, the great 110 metres hurdler who won China’s first ever gold medal in track and field, in the Athens Olympics in 2004; and following the highly successful Beijing Olympic Games, the Chinese Olympic Team received the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. 

Shanghai, one of China’s most iconic travel destinations and one of the most spectacular cities on Earth, is a perfect location for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards. A popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks, such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yu Garden, as well as the dramatic Lujiazui skyline, it is a showcase for the booming economy of China. Shanghai mixes old world charm with a modern and vibrant city, perfectly blending the past and present. Shanghai annually hosts some of the biggest sports events in the world, including the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix and the IAAF Shanghai Diamond League meeting.

Enjoying a long-standing reputation in China, HYX is a leading force in the textile and garment industry. In recent years HYX has evolved into a modern enterprise developing its own unique ‘brand and culture’, through brands like ‘HYX’, ‘Fazeya’ and ‘Nanonan’. For many years, HYX has actively focused on sport and been a partner in sports events like football, basketball, gymnastics and marathon. In December 2005, HYX became the first non-sports textile and costume sponsor in the history of the Olympics and three years later became the first partner of the Chinese Olympic Committee, customizing the Olympic kit for Chinese athletes.

The ‘Eternal Love’ programme, co-founded by HYX and the China Children and Teenagers’ Foundation, has won the China Charity Award twice, being honoured as the No.1 activity for caring for orphaned and disabled children in China. Also, the ‘HYX Literature Star High School Students’ Writing Contest’ has become the most influential event of its kind, attracting the largest number of contestants. In 1997 and 2007 HYX supported the ‘10,000 Teenagers’ Recreational and Sports Activities’ event in Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, China, in the hope of promoting the health of teenagers. For a long time, HYX has been an active partner in sports events like football, basketball, gymnastics and marathon.

This will be the 16th Laureus World Sports Awards. Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.

Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremony in the past have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity.

Laureus now features a new-look website, which is the online home of the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards Shanghai and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, featuring a new design, fully optimized for mobile and tablet, with a dual language capability that lets you switch between English and Chinese at the click of a button. The website is packed with exclusive content, including all the breaking Laureus news, a look back at 15 years of Awards history, videos and interviews from Laureus Foundation project visits and much more.

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Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang. The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 160 countries and territories. The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues. Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility. IWC SchaffhausenWith a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.

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Quotes

Having seen the Grand Theatre I think we can promise that this is going to be a Laureus Awards to remember, one of the finest. This is the first time the Awards has been held in China, an exciting new development for us, so I am delighted that the Awards Ceremony will take place in such a celebrated and iconic venue.
Edwin Moses
My fellow Academy Members and I are delighted that the 2015 Laureus Awards will be held in Shanghai, an exhilarating and vibrant city and I would like to thank the HengYuanXiang Group and the Shanghai Government for their support in making this possible. Laureus is much more than an Awards Ceremony. As our first Patron Nelson Mandela said ‘Sport has the power to change the world’ and it can change people’s lives for the better. We will be using the 2015 Awards to send that message from Shanghai around China and the world to show how sport can make a difference to the lives of every one of us. Laureus has been working in Shanghai for many years and now that we are working together I know this will give us the chance to expand our work here significantly.
Edwin Moses
2015 marks the Chinese Year of Sheep. In Chinese culture, the sheep symbolizes good luck, which is the best greeting for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, the first such event in China. The Grand Theatre is a landmark in Shanghai, where all the guests and audience will be impressed by its exquisite beauty. As an international metropolis, Shanghai has been known for its ‘Shanghai Style’ across the world. And this debut of Laureus in China should no doubt take advantage of the geographical strength of Shanghai. “As the Host Partner of the Laureus World Sports Awards, HYX will show our enthusiasm and experience in successfully sponsoring sports events, so that the co-operation between the two parties will be a valuable combination. This is what is called ‘harmony’ in China. We truly believe that this will be the most representative and unforgettable Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in its history, when all the sports stars and those loving sport will shine in the city together.”
Chen Zhongwei