MOT’s history

MOT was started in 1994 by Norwegian top athletes with a passion for preventing social problems through strengthening youth's awareness and courage.


See key events in MOT history year by year.

See timeline

The MOT Concept was founded on the purpose to create a safer society through strengthening youth’s robustness.

MOT's brand profile was from the beginning built around youth and top athletes. The MOT logo has been worn by top athletes and soccer players in the Norwegian premier league since April 1997. The logo has worked as a reminder and reinforcement of MOT's message.

The first MOT coaches were educated in June 1997 and the first youth enjoyed the MOT Programme in October 1997.

The MOT Concept quickly became like a key-card that was lent to schools, municipalities and countries on a partnership premise. In 2000, MOT entered into the first written partnerships with schools and municipalities. In 2008, South Africa became the first country outside of Norway that entered into a partnership with MOT.

The first 25 years. MOT Documentary 1994-2019.

In 2012, evaluations showed that MOT prevents and protects against the most negative outcomes of the youth time. There is less bullying, fewer youth without one single friend, less mental problems and alcohol and drug abuse in MOT schools.

In 2019, the rough development of the MOT Concept and MOT's brand profile was completed and MOT was spread to Europe, Africa, Asia and America.

It all started with a dream and a passion

A dream about the Olympic Games and the World Championships. A passion for people. A passion for WHY: Why do some people destroy their own and other people’s lives? Why crime and why social problems?

Read more about how it started

1994 – Norwegian top athletes said YES

Important contributors and funding sources were among others the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Customs. Atle Vårvik was in charge of the progress. Johann O. Koss was Atle's sparring partner. Sigrun Vårvik was his supporter and helper. The response from schools, sports clubs and businesses all over Norway was overwhelming.

Read more about 1994-1996


In 1997, the name "MOT" was chosen because it has a certain strength to it. MOT is the Norwegian word for courage. "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others." – Aristotle

Read more about 1997 and courage

A brand can activate a passionate group of people.

The MOT Identity creates the MOT brand, the youth's brand. The MOT Identity is MOT's success formula and MOT's comprehensive system for all MOT countries. Everything is systemized. MOT made 12 important choices from the beginning to build the MOT Identity.

Read more about MOT's brand

Evaluation of MOT's work

MOT Norway – November 1999: "MOT appears to be one of the most innovative and exciting projects to see the light of day in Norway." MOT South Africa – 2012 and 2015: "MOT changed my life. I am behaving better."

Read more about the evaluation

Created in the spirit of top athletes

MOT's history is about outstanding teamwork with tens of thousands of enthusiastic people with good attitudes. It has been a wonderful cooperation between youth, schools, communities, top athletes, artists, business partners, suppliers of services and local, national and global associates.

Read more about the spirit

"Two dreams have grown into something meaningful"

In 2015, Atle Vårvik and Johann O. Koss got the Honorary Award: "The Honorary Award points at role models within top athletics, who use their positions to build good values in society." The dreams would never have become real without Atle and Johann's grit, courage, passion and power to implement and to make thing happen.

Read more about the drive

Dedication and commitment

Over the years 1994–2019, Atle and Sigrun have been head of the development and completion of MOT's brand profile and the MOT Concept's elements, standards, recipes and formulations.

Read more about the commitment and Atle's summary