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

22 February 1997, during the Nordic Ski World Championships in Trondheim, Norway, MOT was formally founded – by Atle Vårvik, Johann O. Koss, Dag Otto Lauritzen and Rune Bratseth.

The motivation to start MOT was primarily:

  • To prevent destroyed lives and social problems in society – by focusing on values and responsible role models.
  • To give schools and municipalities a turn-key, efficient and inspirational concept that improves resistance, quality of life, safety, inclusive environments and sustainable communities.

The name "MOT" was chosen because it has a certain "strength" to it. In Norwegian it means "courage". Synonyms for courage are go-ahead spirit, fearlessness, fighting spirit, bravery and a good heart. Courage is the choice and willingness to confront pain and uncertainty. Courage is a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand fear or difficulty.

From the very first day MOT wanted to be an inspirational experience and a brand for the youth, with which they associate themselves. A brand that strengthens youth's robustness, courage, awareness, inspiration, feeling of safety, self-esteem and mastery of life.

The first 30 MOT coaches, all police officers, were educated in June 1997. In October 1997, youth in secondary schools enjoyed the first MOT sessions in the classroom.

With its system and concept, MOT quickly entered into partnerships with schools and municipalities all over Norway, and in 2008 also in South Africa.