“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” Since these words were spoken by Nelson Mandela at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, they have become the mantra of the charity which consists of Laureus Sport for Good, the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors Program and the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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This year’s Laureus World Sports Awards were presented in Berlin on 18 April and nine days later in IWC’s London boutique in the presence of IWC UK Brand Director Simon Chambers and Head of Programs for Laureus Sport for Good, Derek Bardowell – British jockey and former track cyclist Victoria Pendleton was announced as the latest Laureus ambassador. No stranger to accolades, Pendleton is a European, World and Olympic cycling gold medalist and was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year Honors list.

Welcoming Pendleton to Laureus, Bardowell said: “Sport For Good was born in 2000 and since then has raised over €100 million to help young people in crisis. We currently support about 150 projects in 35 countries around the world, using the power of sport to tackle violence, discrimination and disadvantage. Through our ambassadors and Academy members we have the sporting elite who support our projects.”

Pendleton responded: “It means a huge amount to be part of such a great charity. It’s very impactful and powerful. People want to use their sporting experiences and the opportunities they have afforded and pass them on in some way – giving hope to young people and making a difference to their lives. I feel honored to be part of the organization.”

As is now customary, IWC has launched a new watch in support of Laureus. The Portofino Automatic Moonphase 37 Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, limited to 1,500 pieces. The first time a Laureus watch has been created in the Portofino collection, the watch is identifiable through its signature midnight blue dial and Santoni strap.

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Chambers said of the new piece, “Each year has a theme, this year’s being ‘Time For Sport’. We invited the children from every Laureus project to enter a drawing competition. The reward was for the winning picture to be engraved on the case back of the Laureus watch. This year’s winning image came from Cyprus and an initiative called Peace Players International, which unites Greek and Turkish children through basketball.”

Addressing the brand’s continued support, Pendleton said: “I’d like to say thank you to IWC for being such a long-standing member of Laureus. It means a lot and makes such a difference. The personalization of the watch compels and inspires people to own it. Every time you take it off and see the effort, thought and process that has gone into it and the images the child has contributed, you can’t help but be moved.”

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