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The Lacoste Foundation is celebrating fifteen years of commitment to youth. Created in 2006, the Foundation has helped more than 100,000 young people through 200 projects combining sport and education, carried out by 50 associations in 22 countries. The Lacoste Foundation is committed to transmitting the values of sport, which are real levers for social and professional emancipation. Today, the Foundation is becoming fully integrated into Lacoste's CSR approach and is extending its actions to improve the living conditions of local communities.
Placed under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the Lacoste Foundation works alongside partner associations to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or with disabilities by supporting their social and professional integration through programmes combining sport and education. The support provided by the Lacoste Foundation is the result of the legacy passed on by René Lacoste, who was not only a pioneer in fashion sport, but also in terms of social commitment.
Actions extended to Lacoste's ambitions in favour of local communities
Strengthened by this heritage, Lacoste is fully committed to continuing these solidarity actions in favour of young people and has decided to give them greater resonance by committing itself to supporting the communities surrounding the company's supplier partners. In this context, the Foundation actively contributes to improving the living conditions of local communities through education, environmental preservation and health projects. In this way, the Foundation supports local projects that directly benefit the population. These projects, which are spread over several years, are characterised by the Foundation's and the brand's desire to improve the living conditions of these communities in the long term, whether through the acquisition of new know-how or through local socio-economic development.
By 2025, the Foundation plans to intensify its commitment by broadening its scope of intervention to include 15 additional countries, by supporting 50 community projects and 100 new youth projects.
The "Durable Elegance" approach, the common thread of Lacoste's commitments
All of the Lacoste Foundation's commitments are part of Lacoste's global CSR approach unveiled in 2021: "Durable Elegance", which formalises the ambition and CSR actions implemented by the company over the years. This approach is made up of two parts that cover the brand's commitments:
For Catherine Spindler, Chief Brand Officer of Lacoste and member of the Board of Directors of the Lacoste Foundation: “The Lacoste Foundation is an integral part of our CSR commitments underpinned by our global Durable Elegance approach. Elegance is particularly meaningful at Lacoste and goes far beyond chic clothing. It is a way of acting, with respect and humility. It is by relying on these values that we are committed, within the Foundation, to making equal opportunities a reality."
For Beryl Lacoste Hamilton, President of the Lacoste Foundation: “I am particularly proud that the commitments initiated by my grandfather and founder of the brand, René Lacoste, are being perpetuated and intensified within the Foundation, which has new ambitions to support young people and communities even more. Transmission was dear to my grandfather, and this is why we work on a daily basis within the Foundation, in collaboration with our partner associations.
Nicolas Truelle, Managing Director of the Apprentis d'Auteuil association, which has been working for over 150 years to train and educate young people in difficulty explains: “The practice of sport is an important lever within the Apprentis d'Auteuil establishments to enable young people to regain their self-confidence and get back to learning. For 15 years, the Lacoste Foundation, by giving young people access to tennis, has contributed to their success and to the success of our actions to combat school dropout.”
Raí, former football player and founder of the Gol de Letra Foundation, which works for the social integration of children from Brazilian favelas through education, culture and sport, talks about the creation of the association: «Back in 1998, after 5 years in France playing for the PSG, along with Leonardo, we wanted to participate and support building a fairer country. The worst injustice in Brazil is about education and opportunities. For twelve years, the Lacoste Foundation has been supporting a program for young people aged 8 to 18 living in the Caju favela in Rio de Janeiro, which combines sport, education and professional training. This program offers them the opportunity to be prepared to a broader and brighter future»
Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation in New York City, an organisation that provides free arts, sports and education initiatives for New Yorkers: “Since 2010, the Lacoste Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of City Parks Foundation, helping to keep our youth tennis and golf programs free of charge. The Foundation's generous support has reached young people in under-resourced communities across all five boroughs of New York City, helping kids develop the skills needed to play these sports for life. We are very excited to be able to offer mentoring as part of our program through the Durable Elegance Project, to further provide a leg up for some of our most talented juniors. Congratulations to the Lacoste Foundation on their 15-year anniversary!”
Erez Vider, CEO of the Israel Tennis and Education Centers presents the Lacoste Foundation's support for the centre: “We are proud of our courageous relationship with the Lacoste Foundation, which ongoing for 10 years. The foundation contributes to a social impact program in the social and geographical periphery in Israel, which promotes real change in the lives of children who face a variety of challenges, including personal and family distress. The children who come to us from very difficult starting points, acquire with the support of the foundation the basics of the game of life, tennis, but no less important - essential tools for life itself. It is also a testament to social, value-based and moral leadership, which leaves a positive mark on children, their families, local communities, and society as a whole. There is no greater sense of satisfaction than creating a better and truer future for children who need a listening ear, a hug, a warm and safe home. For an equal and real opportunity to express themselves, to achieve their potential, to be ordinary children with big dreams. In cooperation with the foundation, we allow them to do this and mainly give them the belief that everything is possible for them, each according to his choice, each according to his way, in tennis and in life.”
Patricia Hendili, President of the Djerba Golf Sports Association: " President of the Djerba Golf Sports Association: "The Lacoste Foundation and the Golf School for All: for the past 13 years, a sharing of values and a great human adventure! Our Golf School for All project has evolved over the years, driven by the values defended by a great sportsman and humanist, René Lacoste: effort, tenacity, surpassing oneself while respecting others and the environment! Free access and parity reinforce equal opportunities, the ideological basis of our project. The Golf School for All offers a privileged setting where young people can acquire self-confidence while developing a team spirit that will be favourable to their professional and social life thanks to the openness to others.”
Sven Schroeder, National Managing Director, Right To Play, an organisation that works particularly in Asia using play to unlock the potential of every child: “We at Right To Play strongly believe in the power of sport and play, to create sustainable change in the lives of children and youth in need. With the Lacoste Fondation, with whom we work in particular in Asia, we have a supporter and partner, that shares this belief. Together we protect, educate and empower children, to rise above adversity, using the power of play!”
Laure Delaporte, Cofounder of Life Project 4 Youth, a federation whose mission is the development of innovative solutions for the professional and social inclusion of young people from extreme poverty and victims of exclusion and with which the Foundation is involved in the Philippines: “LP4Y believes that all Young people have potential, and that empowering them with an entrepreneurial mindset will make them actors of their lives. By supporting us, Lacoste Foundation contributes to an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world.”