Siya Kolisi, captain of the South African Rugby World Champion 2019 Team, a symbol of the revival of the rainbow nation, won the Peace and Sport Award for “Champion of the Year” for his commitment to education and social cohesion…

Born in the township of Zwide, north of Port Elizabeth, an area marked by unemployment and lack of opportunity, Siya was often hungry and deprived.

Now, a household name in world rugby, this third-line player, revered in the world of rugby, has not forgotten his community and gets involved in everyday life to transmit the values of sport to youth.

The Champions for Peace club has voted for Siya Kolisi’s flawless investment on and off the pitch He succeeds Blaise Matuidi and joins other revered members such as François Pienaar, another number 6 for the Springboks who was awarded the Webb Ellis Prize in 1995 by Nelson Mandela.

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Rachel Kolisi honours her husband’s words

On Friday, Rachel Kolisi highlighted some of the inspiring words that her husband, Siya Kolisi spoke on receiving his award. She posted the following message on Instagram:

He said something last night after winning his award. Which really hit me and every single person in the room.

“We may break all the records and lift all the trophies and medals, but someone else will come and do the same after us. If we don’t use our influence to make an impact now, we will be forgotten. The lives that we touch and change will last forever.”

I heard so many people’s stories last night on how they’re impacting their nation through sport/community. Some were very famous sportsmen and women. Others were people with an urgency and passion strong enough to see a change in their country.

Let’s never be comfortable if there are others suffering.


The awards evening was also an opportunity to accolade:

The CSR Initiative of the Year:

The Danone Nations Cup is the largest children’s football tournament in the world, with more than two million participants. The event aims to encourage children to become agents of positive change in their communities.

The April Initiative of the Year:

Deporte para el Desarrollo, festival learn, play and try – Venezuela, Rugby. In April 2019, the first “Learn, Play and Try” Festival promoted its unique methodology, which is now  nationally recognised and implemented.

NGO of the Year:

GOALS, Equal opportunities, Haiti, Football. This initiative focuses on quality education and rural inclusion to reduce illiteracy and increase school attendance for rural youth in Haiti.

In memory of Guo Chuan:

Team Malizia

Innovative action of the year: Fundación Olímpica Guatemalteca, Records vs Records. This inclusive initiative encourages participants to set sports records that are converted to local currency. The funds raised through the involvement of the whole society were used to open a new sports facility, where life skills are passed on to more than 500 young people from vulnerable communities to reduce delinquency and violence.

Diplomatic Action of the Year:

The National Olympic Committee of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the two cities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo for the organisation of the 14th European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOF).

The Sports Organisation of the Year:

Saint-Omer Cricket Club Stars [SOCCS]. Founded in 2016, this club fraternises with young refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Association’s mission is to use cricket as a means to overcome the high migratory tensions in the Hauts-de-France region. The Saint-Omer Cricket Club has made a significant contribution to the integration and wellbeing of refugees in the community.

Development and Peace through Sport of the Year Programme:

Naandi Foundation, The Toofan Games, India. One of the largest social welfare organisations in India. The Toofan Games enable community educators to broaden the positive impact of sports programmes and promote gender equality.

Champion of the Year:

Siya Kolisi – South Africa, Rugby

Special Jury Prize:

FC Barcelona Foundation. Robot Pol is an initiative led by the FC Barcelona Foundation, in partnership with the Eric Abidal Foundation. It is part of the “Paediatric Emotional Wellness Programme” and is based on a robot using an audio, video and remote control software system. It gives bedridden children a chance to have an immersive experience and interact with players during workouts and games.