CSR Spotlight: Sport for Social Change
by Derek Linsell on 1/08/2011
Sport has grown to become one of the most common tools for bridging cultural, ethnic and socio-economic divides. Sport is especially effective with younger generations because it can unite an impoverished community, while simultaneously taking kids out of potentially dangerous environment by promoting positive values and education.
Beyond Sport is an organization that has risen within the past few years to help people and organizations more effectively use sport to create social change. By providing a variety of outlets to interact with thousands of other sport-for-good focused people around the globe, Beyond Sport effectively showcases best practices and successful programs in the space.
The Beyond Sport organization functions in three ways: Beyond Sport Awards, Beyond Sports Summit, and Beyond Sport World. The awards section consists of various sport-for-good programs throughout the world that are nominated for categories such as the “UNICEF Sport for Education Award,” “Sport for Health Award,” “Sport for the Environment Award,” and many more. This award system not only honors programs who are doing a fantastic job in their field, but it also generates more publicity for these programs, making them more popular and possibly attracting the attention of other organizations that can help or use a similar strategy in their area.
The Beyond Sport Summit, on the other hand, focuses on one four-day event designed to “celebrate, promote and drive forward sport-led social change.” This event is focused on networking and informational sessions led by some of this field’s most respected people. Different strategies for using sport as a tool for social change are shared and improved upon. The summit is usually attended by a number of important guests. Tony Blair spoke and the inaugural summit, saying: “This is why I think Beyond Sport is itself important: If we put the right networks together, we could multiply hugely the benefit the impact sports is having in the grassroots.”
With this kind of presence and support, it’s clear that the Beyond Sport Summit will grow immensely in the coming years. Beyond Sport World is the online segment of this ambitious organization. As stated on their website, their main goal is: “to provide an online opportunity for collision.” Beyond Sport World allows connection with others who are from any number of sectors to trigger new partnerships and ideas. It is set up similar to some social networking sites. An organization, company, or any other group, can create a profile and upload information about their project. From there, the group can browse other profiles and participate in various discussions throughout the site.
The hope is that the ease of online communication will help to foster and proliferate ideas at a previously impossible speed and spread. Beyond Sport is a unique organization working to take the best ideas from all across the globe and share them with as many groups and people as possible. The idea utilizes modern technology and is catching on amongst prominent leaders, organizations, and corporations. Beyond Sport already has Barclays and United Airlines as global partners as well as Time Magazine as a media partner and UNICEF as an international development partner. Beyond Sport is helping take the best ideas from around the world in order to spur the most effective and beneficial change possible.
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