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2 Aug 2022 | 10:10

Sport for development’s role in supporting and sustaining the social impact and legacy of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and future major sporting events hosted by the UK, will be the focus of the Coalition’s fifth ‘Town Hall’ session in Birmingham later this year. 

The Coalition’s popular Town Halls are designed to provide informal opportunities for a selection of the 250 charities and organisations who make up the network to engage on important issues in the sector, and drive the Coalition’s collective response to them. 

Four sessions have been held over the past year, and the fifth will be held three months on from the close of the Games so that local and national stakeholders can convene in Birmingham to check and challenge what actions are or aren’t being implemented, or should be introduced to sustain the positive social impact of the event, which has seen athletes from 72 nations compete across the West Midlands region between July 28 and August 8.


The legacy of hosting international events has been a hot topic in a year which has seen England stage the Women’s EURO 2022 in football, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Rugby League World Cup (postponed from 2021 because of Covid-19) which takes place between October 15 and November 19. July also marked 10 years since London staged the 2012 Olympics, with Coalition Board member Ali Oliver MBE, the Chief Executive of Youth Sport Trust, remarking that “the discussion about legacy needs to go deeper” and pointing towards the reduction of PE hours in schools since 2012. Examining the intersection of sport and society, including ‘Closing the gap in education and development’, is a key part of the Coalition’s #OpenGoal framework which aims to showcase how targeted sport-based interventions can help to save public money because of the return on investment they provide across multiple outcome areas and policy priorities. 

Kelly Smith, Insight and Engagement Manager for the Coalition, said: “As the Games reach their climax in Birmingham, the Coalition is pleased to announce that in three months’ time we will be convening with network members and experts from the field to examine the ongoing social impact of the event on people and communities across the region, and indeed further afield when it comes to future events that are being staged in the UK.” 

Town Hall

Watch and read about previous Town Halls: 

Each of the ‘hybrid’ Town Halls staged so far during 2022 have been attended by around 30 relevant and / or local Coalition members in person, with up to 60 joining online. Keynote speakers and experts, practitioners and people with lived experience contribute to panel sessions, and there are open-floor discussions and break-out sessions, with comments, insights and resources distributed to attendees following the event. Members lead on actions agreed at the session, and contribute to the ‘collective action’ of the Coalition as it gathers momentum. 

Watch out for registration and further event details which will be announced soon for the forthcoming Town Hall session in Birmingham. 

Read the Coalition charter and get involved in the ‘collective action’.