Commitment to heritage
René Lacoste’s devotion to the tennis court and his tenacity earned him the nickname “the crocodile.” These values are the cornerstones of the Lacoste Foundation and our approach. This has been the case since the brand began.
During World War II, René Lacoste entrusted a group of workers with planting 40,000 trees to cover the family golf club in Chantaco. This monumental effort prevented them from being sent to forced labour in Germany. Later, he and his wife Simone Thion de la Chaume allowed cadets to train on the very same golf course. This act of kindness inspired a whole generation of champions, including Jean Garaïalde and Bernard Pascassio. René Lacoste enabled them to fulfil their potential. He did the same thing for many young people and was delighted when they became successful.
At Lacoste, we continue to uphold this spirit, rooted in sport, education and culture. Respecting others, team spirit, perseverance, and surpassing oneself are the values that guide our success, and we strive to pass them on with enthusiasm and modesty.
Launched in 2006 and supported by the Fondation de France, the Lacoste Foundation helps with the social and professional integration of underprivileged young people and those with disabilities. The Foundation works all over the world in partnership with local charities whose workit supports:
- Financial support in developing sports and education programmes.
- Moral support by fostering the sharing of good practices between the Lacoste Foundation’s partner charities.
- Skills mentoring to encourage young people to find fulfilment, with the participation of Lacoste employees who work as Lacoste volunteers and mentors.
This winning alliance has already helped 70,000 young people.
We believe in the power of sharing
Our mission is to help vulnerable populations to achieve their potential, find their way and grow in self-confidence. This is grounded in the idea of self-accomplishment. Finding one’s place in society requires as many social skills as technical skills and working on self-confidence and keeping an open mind are just as crucial as expertise.
This is why the projects we support include these two pillars: sharing skills and moral values. Through long-term partners, we help to build programmes that encourage this in a trusting setting alongside charities that share our values.
"Confidence, tenacity, perseverance, rigor: with weapons like these, everyone can build a life."
The actions we support
Lacoste supports 11 charities across the world, helping to achieve better social and professional insertion for vulnerable young people.
The Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil has existed since 1866. As an officially recognised non-profit organisation, it develops and provides education, training, and social and professional insertion programmes for young people in difficulty and their families.
In 2010, it inaugurated the Tennis-School programme in partnership with the Lacoste Foundation and Robert Abdesselam. This project enables 500 young people between the ages of 6 and 20 to regularly play tennis in the 21 Apprentis d’Auteuil establishments every single year.
The mission of this French charity is to encourage self-fulfilment and professional insertion among young people from underprivileged neighbourhoods through sports in a safe and stimulating environment. Every week, 8,000 young people play sports on the charity’s grounds.
Since 2010, we have supported its L dans la Ville programme, which is aimed exclusively at young girls. Thanks to the Lacoste Foundation, Sport dans la Ville has included tennis in the programme’s sports offering. Some 160 young girls from the Rhône-Alpes and Ile-de-France region play tennis for 2 hours every week.
The Gol de Letra Foundation helps children from the favelas in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo reach their potential. It offers comprehensive educational support centred on sports, culture and food as a platform to develop self-confidence, social skills and professional skills. Today, more than 300 Brazilian children are being helped by the Lacoste Foundation.
Since 2008, we have supported the “Jogo Aberto (Open Game)” programme. The latter offers youngsters from Rio de Janeiro the chance to play five different sports from tennis and table tennis to rhythmic gymnastics, judo and futsal.
The American charity City Parks works to make sports more accessible for young people from poor neighbourhoods in New York by using parks throughout the city. The best athletes train to win scholarships for American universities.
Since 2014, the Lacoste Foundation has supported the City Parks tennis and golf programmes. More than 6,000 young people benefit from this programme every year.
Since 2009, Academia dos Champs has helped underprivileged young people from the region around Lisbon, Porto and southern Portugal to develop through tennis and its values of tenacity, respect and team spirit.
Throughout the year, 300 young people attend tennis lessons and take part in training courses and tournaments organised by the charity. Academia dos Champs also encourages the professional insertion of these young people through different partnerships with companies. We have supported the work of this charity since 2012.
Every year, the Association Sportive du Golf de Djerba enables 60 children from underprivileged backgrounds in nearby villages to learn how to play golf on Saturdays and Sundays. This programme introduces them to positive sporting values, but also enables them to discover new perspectives through courses organised during the school holidays and competitions hosted across the country. The charity also provides educational support.
We have supported this programme since 2008.
For the last 35 years, ITEC (Israel Tennis and Education Centers) has been providing social programmes for underprivileged Israeli children. In some of its centres, the ITEC offers a 10-month programme focused on tennis. Young people from all faith backgrounds learn to live together and develop fundamental values of tolerance and cooperation.
Established in 14 towns and cities across the country, ITEC organises an end-of-year tournament in which young people from different places can meet and play together.
The Lacoste Foundation has supported this programme in the city of Acre since 2011.
In Essaouira, the Birdies de Mogador charity introduces girls and boys from fishing villages to golf. These children between the ages of 8 and 18 enjoy free weekly training sessions combined with training courses during the school holidays. The high demands of this sport help them pursue their self-development within a system based on merit and hard work. It also opens the doors to new professional perspectives in the world of golf (players, tourism, management, etc.).
Every year, the Lacoste Foundation invites the young Birdies to attend the Hassan II Golf Trophy Tournament for a day, offering them the chance to meet professional players!
Crocogolf is an initiative that encourages young people from working-class neighbourhoods to start playing golf.
The Lacoste Foundation has supported this initiative in Lille, France, since 2014. Every year, 15 children join the Mormal golf school and attend a weekly lesson. This sport offers them access to a unique new world, helping them gain self-confidence and learn about perseverance. The children also enjoy free access to the course outside of their lessons, just like the other club members.
The Etendart uses two approaches for providing access to sport, education and art. Firstly, it encourages the renovation and decoration of public sports facilities by street artists. Secondly, it implements insertion programmes focused on sports held in renovated facilities, making them spaces for living and learning.
The Etendart Academies are aimed at young people in difficulty and use tennis to promote its sporting values. They also offer educational support, art classes to develop sensitivity and professional insertion support.
We have supported the Etendart Academies since 2020.
Through its rhetoric, stage expression and vocal coaching workshops, Eloquentia helps everyone to “find their voice” by encouraging dialogue and building confidence. Since 2020, Lacoste has enabled young people from the Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil to attend these workshops for 14-28 hours in total. Eloquentia’s work with young people was the subject of a successful film: Speak Up.
Become a partner
If you want to suggest a project to the Lacoste Foundation, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Conditions for project eligibility
- Being a community-service and non-profit organisation.
- Sharing sporting values of confidence, tenacity, rigour and fair play.
- Supporting social and professional insertion programmes for young people (between the ages of 5 and 25) through sports, education or culture.
- Helping underprivileged young people and/or those with disabilities.
- Having a clear, achievable, long-term ambition to enact sustainable change for young people.
- Having clear, transparent budgets.
- Acting alongside local regions where the business and brand are present.
The Executive Committee meets four time a year to monitor the projects supported by the Foundation and to examine any new suggestions.
We do not support projects led by organisations with strong political leanings, nor projects that imply high overhead costs.
The Lacoste foundation governance
Beryl Lacoste Hamilton, President of the Fondation Lacoste
Nathalie Dechy, Former professional tour tennis player
Alexandre Favre, Founder of le Cercle des Gens Bien et Bienveillants
Lilou Fogli, Scriptwriter and comedian, ambassador of Ninoo
Pierre-Hervé Gautier, President of the Rober Abdesselam Foundation
Michaël Jérémiasz, Former Wheelchair Tennis Paralympic Champion
Pierre-André Maus, Representative of the Maus Family
Gaëlle Petit-Perrin, EVP Global Human Resources
Catherine Spindler, EVP Global Marketing and Branding
Alexandra Van de Vyvere, Foundation Lacoste director