Sport at the Service of Humanity Welcomes Global Patron ISPS Handa

ISPS Handa Global Patron Announcement

On November 28th, Sport at the Service of Humanity marked the start of their second year with the exciting announcement that ISPS Handa is signing on as the first Global Patron of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Foundation. The announcement was made at a special launch event hosted at the University of St Andrews, in St Andrews, Scotland.

Joining SSH at the launch event was Japanese philanthropist, Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS Handa). Like SSH, ISPS believes passionately in the power of sport to educate and inspire individuals, especially the youth, to effect social change. As part of its Global Patron initiative, ISPS Handa will be working with SSH to support the development of a Youth Mentoring Program where key global leaders in various sectors of sport, faith, business and other sectors will work with youth leaders to help them develop their skills to succeed in life.

“We are very proud to be appointed the first Global Patron of the Foundation, and especially excited to be involved in a program that supports mentoring for young leaders. We believe that sport has the power to inspire, transform and unite people across social, racial and socio-economic barriers. The SSH Foundation is a partner that shares these values with us. We look forward to working with them to change the lives of young people.”

— Dr. Haruhisa Handa

Dr. Haruhisa Handa was born in 1951 in Japan. After graduating from Doshisha University, Kyoto, in Economics, he then went on to study with the Master Class at Musashino Academia Music where he graduated with a major in vocal music. He earned a masters degree in creative arts from WAAPA (Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts) at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, as well as a Ph.D in Literature from the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, China.

He has been recognized for his longstanding commitment to public service and has been awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon of Japan, the Honorary Award of Contribution towards the Chinese Choral Enterprise, the distinguished service medal of the State of Western Australia, the keys to the City of Perth and the City of Swan, in recognition of long-standing contributions to blind welfare. Dr Handa manages over a dozen companies, and serves on the board of numerous charitable foundations and associations in Japan, Australia and the UK.

Dr. Handa founded ISPS Handa in 2006 to further the transformative power of sport across the globe and to support charitable causes in the sporting world. ISPS Handa funds and promotes a wide range of sporting events in archery, bowling, boxing, football, golf, polo, rowing, rugby and swimming, with an emphasis on blind and disabled golf.

“In our first year, we have been greatly encouraged by the way that our partners have taken the values and principles of our movement, and inspired the lives of the millions of people that they touch. We are excited about ISPS Handa’s support moving forward.”

–Chris Lang, CEO of the of the SSH Foundation

Demonstrating the Power of Sport 
The launch event at the University of St Andrews was also supported by some of the globe’s all-time sporting icons who attended the event to demonstrate the power of sport to make a difference in the world. Sean Fitzpatrick, former All Blacks Captain, World Cup winner, Francois Pienaar, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winner, and French football great and World Cup winner, Lilian Thuram were among those to welcome ISPS Handa as the first global Patron of SSH.


“The values ISPS Handa promotes chime perfectly with Laureus’ own view on how sport can make a difference. There is so much we can do through the sport we love, and which gave us so much pleasure as well as opportunity.”

–Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus Foundation


“Helping young leaders tackle the major issues of our times is invaluable. You have to explain to children that we are not born racist. We become racist because racism is a cultural thing. It is time to consider ourselves, first and foremost, as human beings. And whether in sport or in faith, SSH is built on the greatest values we can adhere to as human beings.”

— Lillian Thuram, Founder of the Lilian Thuram Foundation


“Everyone can make a difference. You have to raise your hands. What are you prepared to do?”

— Francois Pienaar, Captain of South Africa’s 1995 World-Cup winning Rugby Team

Connecting with Youth
The University of St Andrews and the Sport at the Service of Humanity Foundation have committed to exploring opportunities to work together in the areas of sport and development. The University also has an existing relationship with Dr Handa who is a generous supporter of St Andrews’ world-leading Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, now known as the Handa CSTPV.

At the launch event, an audience of St Andrews students heard from some of the athletes, as well as Bishop Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC), and founding members of SSH, who outlined the principles shared by sport and faiths, working together for the betterment of the world.

“The Vatican PCC, in conjunction with the SSH Foundation and its partners, celebrate the value of sport, its capacity to bring joy to participants and observers, to promote physical and mental well-being, and to create bridges between people”.

–Bishop Tighe


Creating Change through Action
It is with excitement and gratitude that we witness the growth of this movement. The addition of ISPS Handa as our first Global Patron is a significant milestone for the SSH Foundation. Through Dr. Handa’s generous support, we will have greater opportunities to make a difference in the lives of young people around the globe with our Youth Mentoring Program.


global partner