COALITION CHARITIES RESPOND TO CHANCELLOR’S KICKSTART SCHEME

Street League supports young people aged 16 to 24 not in employment, education or training

Sport for Development Coalition charities that focus on employability have been responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of a £2billion ‘Kickstart’ scheme to help young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24.

It is part of an emergency package aimed at preventing mass unemployment in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

SUPPORT

Lindsey MacDonald, Managing Director of the sport for employment charity Street League, welcomed the Kickstart scheme and said her organisation was looking forward “to hearing the detail of how and where these investments will be made”.

“Guaranteeing that the right support reaches young people and employers to access these opportunities is critical to ensuring young people who are most in need of support are able to benefit,” said Lindsey.

“We hope that there will be an emphasis placed on youth employment services prior to, and during the initial six-month work placements, to make these solutions sustainable.

“For young people whose opportunities are not continued beyond the six-month period, there needs to be a clear transition back into support so that the skills and experience they gained are not lost. We know that an ongoing cycle of unemployment when young can have devastating consequences throughout a person’s life and career.

“Street League’s Aftercare Service offers in-work support and sees us ensure that six months after going into an opportunity at least 60% of young people who moved into a job are still there or have moved into a new opportunity six months later. Support to transition from one job to another has been particularly critical in the past few months as lockdown changed the shape of the labour market.”

MINDSET

Lindsey warned: “There is a risk that a short-term mindset could only serve to delay the youth unemployment crisis we are trying to avoid.”

Paul Evans, Chief Executive of Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB), pointed out that the current generation of young people seeking to start their careers have already lived through austerity and cuts to public services, followed by uncertainty brought on by Brexit and what he believes was a “confused” Apprenticeship Levy roll-out.

Young people attending the Leadership Through Sport and Business programme

Evidence shows the “vulnerable and marginalised always suffer most, and suffer longest” from pandemics, according to Paul.

“For this unluckiest generation, the action required by central Government should be unequivocal,” he said.

“It should be uncompromising in its commitment to creating an education, training and employment landscape that allows the country to build a future on the talent of the next generation of key workers, skilled trades, innovators and entrepreneurs.

PRESSURE

“LTSB is proud to be part of the Youth Employment Group, led by Youth Employment UK, that has been putting pressure on the Chancellor to take these steps. After (this) announcement there are grounds for hope.”

Ben Hilton, Chief Executive of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, agreed with Paul that provision must be made for those furthest from the labour market.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust provides one-to-one mentoring for young people

“In the last youth employment spike, we saw that those closer to the labour market benefitted most, and those with greater vulnerabilities and complexities in their lives, were ones who generally became a long-term unemployment statistic.”

He added: “We would also like to see support for these young people during the initial stages of employment. While the announcement of more work coaches is welcomed, additional support and mentoring from people outside of the traditional system can be of great benefit.

EXPERIENCE

“We use elite athletes from a range of sports to mentor and support the young people we work with and we know from experience and evaluation of our programmes, how beneficial this can be.”

Sarah Mortiboys, Chief Operating Officer for Dallaglio RugbyWorks, said: “Dallaglio RugbyWorks welcomes the announcement of the new Kickstart scheme to support young people back into employment.

Dallaglio RugbyWorks helps young people achieve their potential

“As an organisation we work with some of the most at-risk young people who because of circumstances out of their control fall out of education and therefore have a limited chance of achieving their full potential.

“We believe that this just isn’t right and that all young people have the right to achieve and be the best that they can be.

“Kickstart is a welcome addition to the range of interventions that as a sector we have at our disposal and Dallaglio RugbyWorks believes that, if used to their potential, this can really begin to address some of the challenges that we face ahead.”

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IN A CHANGING WORLD

Each month the Sport for Development Coalition presents a monthly theme, and for July 2020 we welcome Jenny Oklikah, the new Chief Executive Officer of Fight for Peace. Here Jenny talks about the work of the charity, and the challenges and opportunities presented at this time of change for society. Join Jenny for a live Twitter takeover at the hashtag #SportForDevelopmentCoalition on Monday 27th July (8-9pm).

The ongoing obstacles and acute hardships presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing movements against the injustice, prejudice and systemic racism that exist in our society, mark this moment out as unique in our lifetime, and certainly in the 20-year history of Fight for Peace. This moment brings with it significant challenges as well as vital opportunities, both for us as an organisation and for the wider youth and sport for development sectors.

From London to Rio de Janeiro, to Kingston, Jamaica, and across the 17 countries in which our Fight for Peace Alliance partners operate (including 46 organisations in the UK), we work in communities which face disproportionate socio-economic barriers that are significantly heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic. For young people and families in our communities, daunting new and existing obstacles will need to be confronted and overcome in the coming weeks and months as we emerge from lockdown and, in some places, continue to battle the spread of the Coronavirus.

RECOGNITION

Families and young people with whom we work have been dealing with financial hardship, reduced income and unemployment, bereavement, domestic violence and missed schooling over a number of weeks. This presents very real threats to the development, and physical and mental health of our members, and can force those most vulnerable into difficult choices with negative outcomes for themselves and others.

The hardships are set to continue as the longer term social and economic impacts of Covid-19 are felt, and mitigating them through ongoing social support, delivery of food and essentials, and alternative programme delivery will continue to be the focus of our work, both locally and globally.

New Fight for Peace CEO Jenny Oklikah (pictured right)

The enhanced awareness of the discrimination and injustice which exist in our society also marks this moment out as unique. Recognition of these issues is long overdue. No-one should be held back, much less suffer abuse or violence, because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality, their gender identity, or disability – nor should they face added barriers where these intersect. For us, oppression and injustice are destructive barriers that stand in the way of our young people realising their full potential. Fight for Peace, and the wider youth and sport for development sectors, must be part of the solution.

For us this means two things. Firstly, it means going beyond mitigating and combatting the effects of oppression through our work with young people by using our voice and influence to highlight injustice and advocate for change. Crucially, it also means looking inward and assessing how we address and deal with these issues, how we can make them even more central to our work, how our young people and staff can most effectively discuss and educate themselves and each other, and how we can best reflect progression and change.

STRATEGIC

This week we took an exciting initial step in this process when we announced the creation of a new Leadership Group, not based on hierarchy but composed of leaders from across our organisation who will influence the strategic direction and decision-making of the next phase of Fight for Peace’s history, and that crucially represent the diversity of our staff and young people. We believe that setting an example for good practice within our sector and networks is arguably the greatest and most important influence we can have.

We have always been an organisation that has championed collaborative working and we believe that now more than ever partnership, knowledge and skills exchange, and collective impact will be vital. Fortunately, the nature of our global work is well set up for this and is developing all the time. Through the best practice exchange occurring across our global Alliance of 135 organisations and our established and emerging networks using collective impact methodology in Kingston (Jamaica), Maré (Rio de Janeiro) and Newham (London), we are able to draw on the vast knowledge of our partners, train and help develop fellow organisations, and work collectively to best meet the needs of the young people and communities we serve at this crucial time.

In 20 years Fight for Peace has never stood still, and this moment of change must be grasped as another opportunity to evolve – to adapt to best support our young people and communities, to champion change in the way society perceives and embraces young people, and promote even greater unity and solidarity in our continued fight for peace.

Join Jenny for the live Twitter takeover at the hashtag #SportForDevelopmentCoalition on Monday 27th July (8-9pm).

Pic credit: Dolly Clew.

SUPPORTING DISABLED PEOPLE FROM LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS TO BE ACTIVE

Persion instructing supporting disabled man in a gym

Activity Alliance has released new resources on ‘Supporting disabled people from low-income households to be active’.

The engagement factsheet is the latest in a collection of resources that advise sport and physical activity providers on inclusive practice.

It is aimed at helping providers plan, target and deliver more appealing and accessible opportunities for disabled people.

INACTIVE

Research from Sport England shows that disabled people from lower socio-economic groups are much more likely to be physically inactive than disabled people from more affluent groups (43% compared to 29%). They are also three times more likely to be inactive than non-disabled people from higher socio-economic groups inactive (43% versus 14%).

The factsheet provides insight on how deprivation affects some disabled people’s lives, and explores the relationship between poverty and disability.

Ray Ashley, Activity Alliance’s Strategic Lead for Partnerships, said: “We want to empower organisations by providing the right support, connections and insight so that more disabled people have access to fair activity opportunities.

“Our latest factsheet is an important addition in supporting activity providers and organisations to encourage more disabled people to be active.”

IMPACT

The factsheet was created in partnership with Professor Tess Kay, Professor of Sport, Health and Social Science at the University of Stirling.

She added: “I am so pleased to see this important guidance emerging. Low income can have an enormous impact on people’s participation in sport and physical activity, but it is often overlooked.

“It is not just about being short of cash – there are so many associated effects, from stress and worry, to poor everyday living conditions. As this resource explains, disabled people can be at greater risk. This timely guidance has a wide relevance, especially at this uncertain time. I really applaud Activity Alliance for taking the lead on this crucial issue.”

Access the factsheet here.

‘REACTIVATE’ SUPPORTS RETURNING ACTIVITY PROVIDERS

ReActivate will be free to use for 12 months for anyone working or volunteering in the sport and physical activity sector in England / CIMSPA

A free training initiative has been launched to support sport and physical activity providers following the Covid-19 lockdown.

The ‘ReActivate’ scheme has been commissioned by CIMSPA (the Chartered Institute for the Management for Sport and Physical Activity) and funded by Sport England.

It provides a free, online training platform that will equip anyone working or volunteering in the sport, fitness, leisure and physical activity sector with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently return to work or restart their coaching activity.

GRASSROOTS

ReActivate covers areas such as risk management, social distancing, cleaning and use of equipment; along with refresher training, Covid-specific procedures and health and wellness support for staff still on furlough. It will also generate a CIMSPA ‘Covid-Safe’ training certificate on completion.

The platform will be free to use for 12 months for anyone working or volunteering in the sport and physical activity sector in England; including grassroots sports coaches and volunteers.

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, said: “The sport and physical activity workforce and volunteers are going to play a vital role in keeping the nation fit and healthy as we emerge from this crisis.

“With our recent ‘Return to Work’ survey indicating that 40% have some degree of apprehension about returning, it is vital that we give them the support they need to return with confidence and create a safe environment for the public.

CONFIDENCE

“The resources we are providing with support from Sport England and our delivery partners are designed to give all stakeholders the ability to re-open with confidence.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, added: “Sport and physical activity play a crucial role in our health and wellbeing and we recognise the vital role of those who work in the leisure sector, as well as the countless volunteers and coaches who keep our communities active.

“It is absolutely vital to give everyone who needs it access to the resources and training they need to confidently return to their roles, and this is why we have invested in this major training initiative.”

Employers and facility managers interested in free access to the ReActivate training platform for their teams can find out more and register their interest at https://cimspa-reactivate.uk/

YOUTH SPORT TRUST CEO WELCOMES PE & SPORT PREMIUM ANNOUNCEMENT

Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver has welcomed the announcement that primary schools in England will receive £320million funding from the PE and Sport Premium during the academic year 2020-21.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the funding, which was doubled in 2017, will continue at this higher rate of £320million next year.

The PE and Sport Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life, supporting primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision so that pupils experience the benefits of regular exercise – from becoming healthier both mentally and physically to improved behaviour and better academic achievement.

PRIORITIES

Responding to the announcement, Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver – who is a Board member of the Sport for Development Coalition – said: “As young people return to school, their wellbeing will be one of the biggest priorities in education.

“Sport and Physical Education have an essential role to play in children’s recovery, particularly following a period of lockdown which has seen too many either become less active or completely inactive.

“We are delighted that the primary PE and Sport Premium for 2020/21 has been confirmed at this critical time. Many primary schools will be using this funding to improve provision of PE and sport and to develop teachers’ confidence to deliver it, positioning PE and sport at the core of schools’ work to improve pupils’ health, wellbeing and ability to learn.”

PROVISION

The Department for Education has also confirmed that any PE and Sport Premium funding from the current academic year (2019-20) which schools were unable to use as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can be brought forward to use in the next academic year, giving school leaders an opportunity to develop or add to their existing provision, or to make improvements that will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “During these challenging times, it has become clearer to me than ever the importance of keeping active and how it benefits not just our physical health but also our ability to pay attention, our mood and our mental health too.

“Every family will have had a different experience of the pandemic, and I know that many children will have missed time spent outdoors with their friends – that’s why it’s so important that ahead of a full return to school in September, schools get the certainty they need to prepare their PE and sports activities for next year.”

Read more at youthtrustsport.org

CHARITIES AND GOVERNING BODIES UNITE FOR MERCERS PROJECT

A group of sports charities and national governing bodies have joined forces on a groundbreaking new collaborative project which will aim to ensure that 200 young people, who are currently at risk of falling out of the education system, will instead develop positive and productive futures.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and England Boxing have teamed up with Dallaglio RugbyWorks, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and SLQ Sports Leaders for the three-year project which has been made possible thanks to funding of just over £280,000 from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation.

Using sport as a hook to engage the teenagers in positive activity, the project will provide life-skills and mentoring support across several schools in the capital, with the aim of enabling them to transition into further education, employment or training after mandatory education.

The partnership is particularly timely with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds set to face even greater challenges due to the economic downturn post Covid-19.

DEVELOPMENT

Each of the partners will bring different aspects to the project. SLQ Sports Leaders offer the opportunity to achieve a Level 1 qualification in Sports Leadership, while the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust will provide access to its mentoring expertise, which includes personal, social and emotional development programmes for young people facing disadvantage. The RFU and England Boxing will provide assistance with delivery to the Dallaglio RugbyWorks team as well as creating community engagement opportunities for participants.

Sarah Mortiboys, Chief Operating Officer for Dallaglio RugbyWorks, said: “As we move into uncertain times for everyone, it is essential that we continue to support future generations, especially those at most risk, and enable them to be the next leaders of sport and society. That is why I am thrilled that so many organisations have teamed up with RugbyWorks to deliver this unique and exciting project.

“I would sincerely like to thank The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, SLQ Sports Leaders, the RFU and England Boxing for coming together to join us in this project which will help to change the lives of young people in London for the better.”

The collaboration features several key supporters of the Sport for Development Coalition, a growing movement of over 100 charities, governing bodies and networks who all believe in the power of sport to generate positive social outcomes.

OPPORTUNITY

Richard Norman, CEO of SLQ Sports Leaders and a Board member of the Coalition, praised the organisations for coming together to focus on shared outcomes.

“We love working collaboratively to achieve social change and we are delighted to be part of this Dallaglio RugbyWorks project,” he said.

“Working with such prestigious organisations gives the project a unique opportunity to positively impact young people across London.”

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the Rugby Football Union, said the governing body was “really pleased” to be able to “provide support to vulnerable teenagers at this very challenging time”, and Ron Tulley, England Boxing’s Head of Community Development, said: “the boxing clubs involved will provide a safe and secure environment where young people can grow in confidence and as young people.”

SPORT ENGLAND CEO: SUPPORTING THE MISSION OF THE COALITION

In this blog Tim Hollingsworth, the Chief Executive of Sport England, writes about the Sport for Development Coalition and the recent announcement of new funding to support the growth of its work. Tim also kindly participated in a live Twitter takeover at the hashtag #SportForDevelopmentCoalition – check out the highlights here.

These are truly unprecedented times for us all, but as we continue to deal with new challenges, and adapt our immediate work to current circumstances, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of where we are working to get to.

We know that being active can significantly improve both physical and mental wellbeing, and as the first changes to lockdown allow many of us to enjoy more physical activity, we must continue to enable this as far as is possible within the guidelines.

However, we must keep front-of-mind, and readily plan for, the role that the sector will play in bringing communities back together as we emerge from the continuing restrictions.

COLLABORATE

Nowhere is this truer than across the sport for development branch of the sport and physical activity sector, and I am delighted that Sport England will continue to support the Sport for Development Coalition with new National Lottery funding. Sport for development, and the health and social value that sport and activity can provide, has never been more important.

In tandem with Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good, Sport England has supported the Coalition since 2018. I’ve hugely welcomed the work that they have led to convene those operating in this space, bringing organisations big and small together to collaborate and democratise an important part of the sector.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing such significant disruption to sport and physical activity, the Coalition’s mission to unlock more resources for community sport organisations is going to be essential to our collective recovery from Covid-19. Their aim is to create a movement, galvanising those working in sport for development around shared outcomes and keeping people, place and purpose at the heart of it all; I could not be more supportive.

StreetGames’ Doorstep Sport programme to deliver sport in less affluent communities; Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s transformational mentoring for disadvantaged young people; Street League’s work to tackle youth unemployment: just three examples of countless programmes that have all proven invaluable to the communities they support.

INCLUSIVE

I’m excited too by the ambition to grow the network to at least 400 organisations over the next four years. As we look ahead to how we might emerge from this period, the value of working in partnership to deliver community-focused, place-based activities cannot be understated.

This has real synergy with how we are seeking to work at Sport England, living our values and striving to be increasingly collaborative, innovative, inclusive and ambitious.

There won’t always be easy answers to the challenges that we are presented with, but doing things differently is a necessary part of our collective future, and we must continue to celebrate the phenomenal work that is being delivered as we battle through these difficult times.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else can. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.”

RELEVANT

Nelson Mandela’s famous statement about the power of sport is one of the most frequently referenced in this space, but it remains timeless, and is particularly relevant this year.

Sport really does have the power to change the world. Now more than ever, it has the power to unite people, and together, perhaps we can create some hope where other sentiments have prevailed in recent weeks.

No small feat, but together I believe we can do just that.

Read more about Sport England’s response to the pandemic at sportengland.org.

SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT COALITION UNVEILS SUPPORTING PARTNERS

The Sport for Development Coalition (SFDC) has unveiled some of the key partners who will be supporting its mission to build a national ‘Movement’ of organisations using sport and physical activity to generate positive social outcomes.

Last week the SFDC revealed it was to receive new National Lottery funding from Sport England, along with further support from Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good.

Now it has announced it will work with partners including the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Made By Sport, and ConnectSport as it seeks to grow the Movement of organisations which includes national networks such as Active Partnerships and individual delivery organisations like Greenhouse Sports. As it grows, the SFDC is open to working with more partners that share its ambition to create a nationwide Movement.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance will host the SFDC team in its London offices whilst the Coalition develops its governance and organisational structure.

Chief Executive Lisa Wainwright said: “The Sport and Recreation Alliance is delighted to partner with the Sport for Development Coalition, an organisation which strongly shares our vision, values and purpose.

“Now more than ever, this type of collaboration is essential as we come together to encourage the nation to become happier and healthier through physical activity. We want to drive change using sport and recreation to empower positive social outcomes and to overcome stubborn inequalities that still remain.

“We know how physical activity can positively impact the lives of communities across the country and we look forward to working with the Coalition to evidence, showcase and highlight how sport and recreation can play an essential role across society.”

Andy Reed, Chair of the SFDC, said: “We are grateful to the Sport and Recreation Alliance for hosting us and we look forward to working with them as we grow the Movement along with partners across the sport and physical activity sector.”

The SFDC has been working closely with Made By Sport since it was launched in June 2019 by Prince Harry and boxers Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams. The charitable campaign aims to raise the profile of sport for development and elevate the power of sport to change young people’s lives in the national consciousness as well as raising new funds for the sector.

The SFDC and Made By Sport will work together with the Coalition’s network of organisations to help inform and evidence the issues that will drive Made by Sport’s campaigns. Sophie Mason, Chief Executive of Made By Sport, said: “I am delighted that the SFDC has secured this funding from Sport England, Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good.  The amazing work done by the whole sector has been underfunded and under-valued by a sport-loving nation as a whole. We need compelling stories and evidence that will help everyone appreciate that sport is the most powerful tool we have to address social issues.  With the inequality gap now widening, we need this more than ever.”

ConnectSport will continue as media and communications partner for the SFDC. The not-for-profit media channel for UK sport for development and community sport also provides content and communications services to the sector, and has been supporting the Coalition since 2016. Founded by the former Sports Editor of the Press Association, Simon Lansley, its aim is to build a workforce of journalists that is more diverse and representative of modern society.

Simon said: “We have been honoured to support the SFDC over the last few years, and we’re excited to be playing a part as it evolves and gathers momentum, with organisations of all sizes and from all communities across the regions becoming involved. Telling their stories and demonstrating their impact is our mission, and our passion.”

The partners will support the SFDC’s mission to work closely with networks such as the 43 Active Partnerships across England who work in collaboration with local partners – both inside and outside of sport – to build more active communities. Lee Mason, Chief Executive of Active Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to work with the SFDC and collaborate with all the partners involved to help create the conditions for an active nation, and use the power of sport and physical activity to transform lives across all communities.”

They will also aim to champion and support the outstanding work of individual charities and delivery organisations like Greenhouse Sports who work in more than 50 schools across London to provide long-term coaching and mentoring to pupils in the greatest need of support. CEO Béatrice Butsana-Sita said: “These destabilising times have revealed more than ever the role sport and all physical activity has to play in the health and welfare of a society that can offer opportunity for all. It is not only welcome but hugely important that the SFDC has secured funding from Sport England, Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good, to assist charities like ours unlock the power of sport and change lives.”

The SFDC is currently advertising for an Executive Director who is expected to be appointed within the next three months. Find out more about the role here.

COALITION AIMING TO GROW AFTER NEW FUNDING ANNOUNCED

The Sport for Development Coalition (SFDC) is aiming to “significantly grow” its network after new National Lottery funding was announced by Sport England, along with further support from Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good.

The SFDC, which has been supported for the last two years by the same funders, is a ‘Movement’ of charities, national governing bodies and networks who believe in the power of sport and physical activity to act as effective tools for intervention when generating a wide range of positive social outcomes. These range from tackling youth violence to improving mental wellbeing and increasing community cohesion.

The funding will be used to build and co-ordinate the Movement, and gather sector-wide evidence of positive social outcomes. This evidence will enable the SFDC and its partners to demonstrate the value of investing in sport and physical activity at a national level – especially to other sectors such as health, criminal justice or education.

The aim is to unlock significant additional investment and resources for community sport organisations. More than 70 have already signed up to the SFDC’s Charter, and the ambition is to grow the network to a minimum of 400 within the next four years.

The SFDC’s mission is seen as vital by Sport England, Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good in helping the sport and physical activity sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and complements the work each funder is already doing to support the sector at this difficult time.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on people’s relationship with sport and activity, and on the sport sector as a whole. People and organisations are doing their best to adapt and it’s never been more evident just how much benefit being active can bring to people’s physical and mental health. Sport England will continue to make the case for investing in sport and physical activity at a national level to help solve local solutions – and that’s why we’re pleased to be supporting the Sport For Development Coalition, alongside our partners Comic Relief and Laureus.  This investment will allow the Sport for Development Coalition to grow its reach to a wider network of partners, creating a collective voice, new collaborations, and insight-driven development work – and ultimately helping us all to improve the lives of those who most need our support.”

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, said: “The work of the Sport for Development Coalition is more important than ever in these challenging times. Comic Relief is delighted to continue to fund this programme to help deliver long-term support throughout the Covid-19 crisis and its recovery.”

Adam Fraser, CEO for Laureus Sport for Good, said: “Laureus Sport for Good is committed to supporting the sport for development sector, which is needed now more than ever in these challenging times. That’s why we’re continuing our partnership with the Sport for Development Coalition, and are excited to help grow the Movement showing that sport has the power to unite us.”

The SFDC will initially be hosted by the Sport and Recreation Alliance as it develops its governance and organisational structure with the intention of it becoming independent by June 2022. It will advertise shortly for an Executive Director who is expected to be appointed within the next three months.

SFDC Chair Andy Reed OBE said: “We are extremely grateful to our funding partners for this new investment. The SFDC’s aim now will be to significantly grow the network and the momentum of this Movement, and demonstrate on a national scale how the power of sport can improve people’s lives and build stronger communities.”

NEW CHAIR OF COALITION APPOINTED

The Sport for Development Coalition (SFDC) has appointed its new Chair.

Former MP Andy Reed OBE succeeds Matt Stevenson-Dodd, who has led the SFDC’s Board as interim Chair since 2018.

The SFDC is a growing movement of organisations, networks and funders who believe in the power of sport and physical activity to generate positive social outcomes. It is supported and funded by Sport England, Comic Relief and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Andy, who was Labour & Co-operative MP for Loughborough between 1997 and 2010, has many years’ experience working in national sports policy, and international development issues.

He was Chair of the Sport & Recreation Alliance between 2011 and 2016, performed the same role for Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport for 12 years until 2017, and has also served on the Board of CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

Although now semi-retired, Andy is Director of Saje Impact, a boutique Public Affairs and Sport Management company specialising in the sport, faith and charity sectors, and is co-founder of the Sports Think Tank which is dedicated to sports policy development in the UK.

He is a passionate advocate of the power of sport to effect positive social change in our communities, and received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2012 for his contribution to community and sport in Leicestershire.

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, who also served as Chief Executive of leading sport for employability charity Street League between 2010 and 2019, is stepping down as Chair to focus on his consultancy, Trust Impact.

Andy said: “Firstly I would like to pay tribute to the work Matt has done to lead the Coalition over the last 18 months. His leadership has brought the Coalition to this exciting moment in its evolution where, as we head into a new decade, sport is now being widely acknowledged as a powerful tool for social change.

“Never has the need been greater; whether it’s the increasing focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals, or the need for social cohesion and integration in our communities.

“The many charities and organisations within the sport for development movement are already tackling a vast array of issues, from youth violence to social isolation and dementia amongst older people, from health and wellbeing inequalities to discrimination and deprivation.

“Our aim is to grow this movement by focusing on the Coalition’s three core aims of advocacy – showcasing the sector; impact – demonstrating the sector’s impact and making the case for investment – and investment, so securing new funds for the sector.”

Andy recently contributed to a webinar discussing priorities for Sport England’s next strategy (2021-25), with Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth. Click here to replay the webinar and submit your feedback.