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11 Aug 2021 | 15:15

Bradley Pritchard is one of three new Board members of the Sport for Development Coalition. He is a former professional footballer who studied and qualified in Law and then founded Sporting Way CIC. Here he talks about the skills he will bring to the Board and what he hopes can be achieved during his three-year term on it.

“It was the opportunity to collaborate that attracted me to the Coalition. A lot of what I do is based on collaboration, working with different organisations to address a common need, whether it's in a school, youth organisation or maybe even playing football - I've got to work in a team, and we've got to work together to achieve a common goal. So it’s that idea but just on this grander scale.

“I run emotional wellbeing programmes in schools and youth organisations that use sport, and the principles behind it, to really engage with children and help them deal with a lot of the adversity that you invariably go through as a child. But also with the number of things that children have to face; it could be anything socio-economically, or culturally… anything that can have an impact on their identity and sense of belonging.

“It can't be underestimated how big a role sport has played in my life, both personally and professionally. It's developed my soft skills, and given me adaptability and resilience, and my identity and sense of belonging. As an immigrant coming to England in the mid-1990s you're struggling to find your place in the world…. but knowing that I could use sport as a way to integrate was huge.

“When I was playing professionally, I knew that football was going to finish pretty quickly so I attended law school part-time for four years, every Tuesday and Thursday evening. The goal was to go into human rights law, just to do something that I felt was going to benefit society or at least give me a sense that I was contributing towards a wider purpose in life.

“It’s about what's happening at the ground level being addressed higher up, and there's always that connection. In my opinion the only way you do that is by making sure that you have got organisations of different sizes. Once you become a bigger organisation, it's quite easy to look at the wider scope and forget about the smaller intricacies of communities. The whole idea of collaborating is so key, but also ensuring the sizes of the organisations reflect that variety, which I think the Coalition does superbly.”

“How can we actually impact policy? How can we provide data and evidence on certain needs and on a bigger scale, and push for positive change… and be as impactful as possible? For me, that's the power of collaboration - it's using different perspectives to ensure the impact you have is as effective as possible."

Read more: Coalition unveils three new Board members following governance reform