Ricketts presented the award to La Vonte Stewartwho founded Lost Boyz Inc. in 2009 to help underprivileged children in Chicago popular neighborhoods. Stewart coached a boys’ team in Chicago Rosenblum Park when two men with a gun chased another through the area. The children’s reaction to the violence – which was to laugh and bet on what would happen next – spurred their coach into action.
Since that day, Lost Boyz Inc. has been a beacon of hope in the community. Today, the program provides at-risk youth with organized sports training and competition, as well as economic and academic opportunities in a neighborhood where a third of residents live below the poverty line and are surrounded by gang violence.
The Cubs won Team of the Year at the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards after winning the World Series in 2016, their first since 1908.
Lost Boyz Inc. is one of more than 250 Laureus-supported sport-for-development programs worldwide. Laureus Sport for Good works with community sports organizations that use sport to address violence, discrimination and disadvantage faced by young people. Together with our partners, Laureus Sport for Good has reached and helped change the lives of nearly six million children and young people since 2000.
missy franklinmember of the Laureus Academymentioned: “As members of Laureus Academy, programs like Lost Boyz Inc. are why we are so passionate about being part of this wonderful organization. When our founding patron Nelson Mandela said “Sport has the power to change the world”, that’s what he was talking about. For these young boys and girls, sport is a source of inspiration, hope and a path to a better future. They are an inspiration and as members of the Academy, and we are very proud to celebrate their success.“
Tom Ricketsexecutive chairman of the Chicago Cubs, mentioned: “Chicago is a proud baseball city and it is an honor for us to host the presentation of this global award to Lost Boyz Inc., an organization that impacts the lives of Chicago youth through baseball and softball. The work that LaVonte and his team do is an inspiration to us all and this Laureus Sport for Good Award is recognition of their tireless efforts. We were honored to be the recipients of the 2017 Laureus Global Team of the Year award and I continue to be inspired by their work to celebrate the positive power of sport.”
For the past five years, the Chicago Cubs and Cubs Charities have supported Lost Boyz Inc. through program grants, investments in South Shore community baseball fields through the Diamond Project, and hosted events at Wrigley Field. for program participants to meet players and employees.
The Laureus World Sports Awards 2022 will be organized by ski great Lindsey Vonn on April 24from the picturesque Spanish town of Seville.