Made By Sport is supporting the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Awards again

The BBC has expanded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Awards for 2020 – so now there’s two opportunities for your organisation to benefit.

Alongside the main Unsung Hero award, the BBC has launched the ‘Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero’ award which will be presented to one young volunteer who, like the main award nominees, has made a big difference in their local community through sport during a year which has been blighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To be eligible, nominees for the Young Unsung Hero should be under 15.

What an opportunity this could be for your organisation’s very own Unsung Hero, and indeed your organisation, with the winners set to receive their awards in front of a television audience of millions in December!

Both awards are being supported by Made By Sport, which is an official partner of the Sport for Development Coalition.

BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, said: “Unsung Hero is about honouring the people who show up rain or shine to inspire people to take part in grassroots sports and make a real difference in their local area.

“During what has been a very difficult year, 2020 will feel extra special as we recognise those volunteers who helped keep their community going.”

Thanks to nominations, and support for the awards, from charities and organisations within the Coalition’s growing national network, last year’s Unsung Hero award attracted a record entry.


Overall winner Keiren Thompson was recognised for his work with young people through the Nottingham-based ‘Helping Kids Achieve’ programme which is supported by the national charity StreetGames.

Just like last year, the winner of the awards will be drawn from a list of 15 regional finalists – 12 English regions and then individual winners for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The 2019 winner Keiren Thompson was supported by StreetGames

Last year these finalists all received significant coverage on local BBC TV news and were featured nationally on the BBC Sport website, with an average of 100,000 views per video.

The 2020 awards are being officially supported by ‘Made By Sport’, the national campaign which is partnering with the Coalition. Made By Sport is a four-year campaign championing the power of sport to change lives and raising vital funds for organisations that are using sport to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This means that entering your own Unsung Hero for the award will help to raise awareness of the growing Sport for Development sector.


The Young Unsung Hero Award has been named after named after Captain Tom in honour of his heroic efforts raising a whopping £38.9million for the NHS while walking laps of his garden in the run up to his 100th birthday.

The Unsung Hero awards have also teamed up with BBC Local Radio’s ‘Make a Difference’ campaign to shout about those who are helping their community during Covid-19. Launched by BBC Local Radio in March of this year, all 39 stations have been inviting listeners to highlight the stories of people making a positive difference in their area.

To nominate your Unsung Hero and Young Unsung Hero by video, audio, online webform or via email, simply visit www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero. Video entries should be one to two minutes long (but no longer than two minutes) and written entries should 500-800 words. Entries close on Sunday 25th October at midnight.


The Sport for Development Coalition has joined more than 100 other sport and physical activity bodies in signing a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to ringfence funding for the sports and activity sector so it can play a key role in the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter comes during the Great British Week of Sport and highlights the contribution of the sports and physical activity sector to society, fuelled by a combined workforce of more than 600,000 people.

The signatories are requesting an urgent support package from the Government, as has been provided to arts and restaurant sectors, that will enable the sport and activity sector to continue to provide programmes and facilities that address the health inequalities highlighted by the pandemic and support the NHS by improving health outcomes.


They are calling for a ‘Sports Recovery Fund’ to be delivered at the Comprehensive Spending Review, as part of the Better Health campaign. The fund would help protect existing jobs and facilities so that the sector can:

  • Support programmes and facilities that address the health inequalities highlighted by Covid-19, particularly inactivity among women; lower socio-economic groups; black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and disabled people.
  • Expand the innovations across the sector witnessed during Covid-19, making opportunities digital and increasing accessibility across the country.

A report published by Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University this month showed that every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the English economy, providing an annual contribution of more than £85bn a year, with a social value of more than £72bn a year, measured by physical and mental health and wellbeing, individual and community development.


Grassroots sport and physical activity is an essential part of the UK’s recovery, not just in terms of improved physical wellbeing and reducing the burden on the NHS, but the positive impact it has on mental wellbeing, as well as helping to overcome societal challenges such as loneliness, crime and isolation.

However, the sector has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, with gyms and leisure centres having to shut their doors, community sport being cancelled and heavy restrictions put in place since re-opening. This has significantly impacted the commercial viability of the sector, which has resulted in many local sport, fitness and leisure facilities announcing closures and job losses.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive said: “Our sector is united in its call to the Prime Minister to back grassroots sport and physical activity so that our clubs, gyms and leisure facilities can throw their full weight behind fighting this pandemic.

“This is a health crisis and our sector can play a vital role in supporting our NHS by restoring the nation’s physical and mental resilience in the face of this terrible virus.


“We call on the Government to deliver the urgent fiscal, taxation and regulatory support required to save sports and activity providers across the UK from disappearing from our communities at the time they are needed most.”

Lisa Wainwight, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “The strength of this coalition from the sports, recreation and activity sector cannot be ignored in its public call to the Prime Minister.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on our sector, which was forced to close for a prolonged period.

“It is imperative that our sector gets the support it requires from the Government to get back to business, in order to ease the pressures on the NHS and play a central role in our nation’s recovery from Covid-19.”

The letter to the Prime Minister can be found here.


Visit beyondsport.org/journey

Beyond Sport has announced its 2020 Global Awards Shortlist and will be showcasing the shortlisted projects and organisations over the next three months.

Sport for development practitioners, the public and policy-makers are being invited to ‘Take the Journey’ as 16 organisations are showcased, covering 36 countries across six continents, with the winner announced in December.

The shortlist has been divided into four categories, each aligned to one Global Goal as described by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These are:

  • 3 Good health and wellbeing
  • 8 Decent work and economic growth
  • 10 Reduced inequalities
  • 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

In November, Beyond Sport will also announce the shortlist and winners encompassing the ‘Sport For Gender Equality Collective Impact Award’ supported by Comic Relief and the BT Supporters Club; the ‘Sport For Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award’ supported by the DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation, and the ‘Courageous Use of Sport Award’ supported by WWE.

Watch the video

The Beyond Sport website [beyondsport.org] read: “In a year when we could all use some inspiration, motivation and hope, we’re giving you the opportunity to embrace sport for social change on a deeper level.

“From September through December, across Beyond Sport’s platforms, we’re taking you on a journey around the world to uncover exactly how the 16 amazing organisations who make up the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Shortlist are using sport with intention in pursuit of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) – all in the lead up to the exciting Winner Reveal in December.”

Alongside the shortlist, the ‘Beyond Sport House from Home’ is running a series of sessions focused on the state of the Sport for Development sector.


The first, on October 21 (5-7pm BST), will examine the current state of the sports industry and how it is impacting cause and community. The second, a day later, will look at ‘changing how we are using sport’ aligned with decent work and economic growth.

Three more sessions – on November 11, 12 and 17 – will progress themes of Collective Impact and Peace and Social Justice. To register for Beyond Sport House From Home, click here. Registrants will receive 10% off passes through September 30 using code ‘HOUSE10′.


The social outcomes of sport and physical activity will be high on the agenda during the first ‘Great British Week of Sport’ next week.

A series of events from September 19-27 will showcase a variety of sports and activities which help people of all ages to be more active and enjoy the mental, social and physical benefits.

ukactive, in partnership with Sport England, the Government and the European Commission, will work with a host of partners to deliver activities supporting a range of audiences throughout the week, using the hashtag #BeActive on social media.

These include the leading Sport for Development network StreetGames helping to bring sports and activities to children, families and young people, and the mental health charity Mind working alongside a number of its regional network hubs to demonstrate how being active can help to mitigate factors that cause us stress and anxiety.

On Tuesday 22 September, ukactive will team up with RED Together, a national movement that encourages people to get active every day in order to improve their mental health, and the following day will mark National Fitness Day with gyms, leisure centres and sports providers offering free activities for visitors to try.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Chair of ukactive, said: “We are delighted to launch the Great British Week of Sport, celebrating everything that’s great about our passion for physical activity and sport.

“We are living in challenging times, which makes it all the more important we celebrate the incredible spirit and unity through sport and activity that makes our communities stronger.

“Every day, taking part in physical activity and sport brings people together in a way that is very unique, making our gyms, leisure centres and sports venues part of our social fabric.

“The Great British Week of Sport will show that physical activity is available to everyone, no matter what your background, age, gender, race or ability, and that being active together is an amazing thing.”

To find out more about how to get involved, including to register at events and download the free digital toolkit, visit www.gbwos.com.


The Sport for Development Coalition has teamed up with a series of other networks to help launch an inaugural sector-wide fundraising survey – seeking insight from staff and volunteers at sport for development organisations of all shapes and sizes across the world.

Laureus Sport for Good, the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev) and streetfootballworld will also support the survey, which is being carried out by UK-based Oaks Consultancy.

The survey is the first of its kind focused solely on organisations using sport as a tool for social good, with the primary aim to review the state of fundraising in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Data collected will be used to benchmark fundraising performance across the sector, analyse the impact of Covid-19 on income, and inform the future of fundraising in the sport for development sector globally. Anonymised findings will be published in a report that will be shared with the global sport for development community in November 2020.


The project is being led by Oaks Consultancy, a team of strategy and fundraising specialists already working with some of the leading sport for development organisations in the UK and abroad. Oaks have been working in the sector for over 12 years; helping organisations to develop new strategic plans and secure new income to grow and sustain their activity.

Luke Southall, Managing Director at Oaks Consultancy, said: “The sport for development sector – like everything else – has been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and the global lockdown. Finances have been hit as organisations adapt to different demands and ways of working, fundraising events have been cancelled, and corporate partnerships have in some cases completely disappeared. It is important that we take stock as a sector and understand how fundraising has changed, where organisations have outperformed expectations, and ultimately review our global fundraising appeal and power.”

Laureus Sport for Goodsportanddevstreetfootballworld and the Sport for Development Coalition together coordinate, host, contribute to, and invest in some of the largest networks in sport for development across the globe.


On behalf of all global supporters of the project Vicky Lowe, Global Director of Development at Laureus Sport for Good, said: “Collectively, we recognise the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on community organisations around the world and their fundraising activity. Communities need sport for development programmes now more than ever and this research will be vital in helping us support more people in the future.”

The State of the Sector survey itself can be completed here before midnight (BST) on October 9th. All submissions will be kept anonymous and no organisation-specific financial data will be presented in the report.

All organisations who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw; with three organisations being selected to receive a programme of fundraising and capacity building support. Organisations may also be invited to feature within the report as a case study at the appropriate time.


Increasing the knowledge and understanding of ‘lived experience’ of racism and racial inequalities will be at the heart of a major new plan launched this week by the five sports councils of the UK.

UK Sport, Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, and Sport Northern Ireland are responsible for investing in and growing sport across the UK, and their chief executives have been working together to create a plan that will develop a sporting system which is more reflective and representative of modern society.

A first phase of work will track data on race and ethnicity in sport to identify gaps and make recommendations, while the second involves creating an opportunity to hear lived experiences of inequalities by offering people a safe space to tell their stories.

Both phases of the work are a result of the recognition that not enough has been done to effectively tackle racism and barriers to participation and inclusion in sport faced by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as well as from other protected characteristics.

Antoinette McKeown, CEO of Sport Northern Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland is no stranger to the power of sport. In Northern Ireland, we have learned from other ‘ism’; sectarianism, that sport can heal, unite and build trust across communities and groups. It is past time that we use this rich experience to address racism in a more systemic way.” Read more.

Sport Wales chief executive Sarah Powell added: “We have stated that we want Wales to be an active nation were everyone can have a lifelong enjoyment of sport and to ensure that sport is inclusive and provides a great experience for all. We won’t get close to achieving this without facing up to the uncomfortable truth that, despite our good intentions, we haven’t done enough to confront the racism and inequality that exists throughout sport in Wales from community sport to boardroom.” Read more.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, commented: “Recent events across the world have provided new impetus to look again at the significant ethnicity gap in leadership and participation that exists in sport. That should not, however, hide the fact that some of the challenges faced and reasons for it are long standing and deep rooted. Tackling them will demand real leadership and we are determined to play our part alongside the other sports councils.” Read more.

UK Sport CEO Sally Munday said: “Working in partnership as sports councils, we are determined to use our collective power and influence first to listen, better understand and engage on the issues of racism and racial inequality that exist in our sector – then drive the change we need to see.” Read more.

The councils’ chief executives will continue to meet to discuss this work, including tracking progress and discussing both shared and unique challenges. A full report and set of recommendations will be made within six months on both pieces of work.

Sport England also announced that it is planning to audit the diversity of leadership within sport, and have begun the first joint review of the Code for Sports Governance – looking especially at elements of the code that support equality, diversity and inclusion.


The Sport for Development Coalition is supporting a webinar with sector leaders discussing future career pathways for young coaches.

The webinar ‘Careers in Sport: What does the future hold?’ will take place on Tuesday 15th September (3pm). It is being hosted by Coach Core, the charity that provides apprenticeships for 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in education or employment.

The 90-minute broadcast will take place on Zoom and is free to attend.

Panellists include:
– Stuart Armstrong – Head of Coaching, Sport England
– Tara Dillon – CEO, CIMSPA
– Huw Edwards, CEO, ukactive
– Emma Atkins – Head of Coaching, UK Coaching
– Andy Reed – Chair, Sport for Development Coalition

Coach Core believe that, as the nation emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown, sport and physical activity is more important than ever, but that the industry has taken a hit. This webinar is a chance for these leaders to speak about what they think the future holds for young professionals in the industry.

Register here.


The new Chair of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust has called for more recognition for the Sport for Development sector.

Writing in the charity’s new Impact Report for 2019/20, Ed Bracher says the “whole Sport for Development sector is massively undervalued in terms of the impact it has on society”.

The concept of using sport and physical activity as an intervention to generate positive social outcomes – such as reducing youth offending and unemployment, or increasing resilience and wellbeing in young people – has grown ever more popular in recent years.


As an example, more than 150 charities, governing bodies and funders have joined the Sport for Development Coalition this year alone, with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust a leading exponent of how sport is being used to improve and advance the lives of young people in disadvantaged communities.

Ed, who became Chair of the charity last November, said: “Through health, justice, employment and community cohesion, sport is often the catalyst for change, yet it receives less funding and recognition than representative government departments.” The Trust work with a network of 50 current and former athletes and Olympians who act as mentors to young people across the UK.

Ed said: “The athletes we use as mentors on our programmes are incredible in their ability to motivate and inspire young people to make meaningful changes in their lives and we will continue to promote the unique ability athletes have to transform young lives and we will also support the wider Sport for Development sector.”

He added: “The core of what the Trust continues to do is to unlock the confidence, self-esteem and resilience of young people facing disadvantage.”


The Trust’s new Impact Report covers the period from April 2019 to the end of March 2020, and describes how it worked with more than 750 young people aged between 11 and 25 across 85 different programmes in all four countries of the UK.

The Trust reports that across all of its activity, young people demonstrated a 7.5% increase in mental wellbeing after attending one of its programmes.

Ben Hilton, CEO of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said: “I’m delighted to see the impact the Trust has had on the lives of young people over the last year.


“It’s particularly pleasing to see the increases in mental wellbeing across all programmes and the levels of physical activity rising in our Sport England-funded Get on Track programmes.

“We would like to thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their support in allowing us to develop our Data & Impact processes and also produce this Impact Report.

“We know the next few years are going to be a huge challenge for young people in this country and along with our athletes, partners and funders we are ready to support vulnerable young people and help them to thrive.”

Read the report.


Pic credit: Chance to Shine

Sport and physical activity has a “vital role” to play in helping to tackle some of society’s biggest problems, according to Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth.

The Chief Executive was speaking after a new report, commissioned by Sport England, revealed how every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the economy and society across the nation.

The report by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University shows that investment in sport and physical activity creates a return across health and social care, improves wellbeing, builds stronger communities and develops skills in the economy.

Investing in community sport and physical activity also plays an important role in boosting the economy and provides the opportunity to help level up inequalities within communities, and build a healthier, happier and more prosperous society generating £3.91 in value for every £1 spent.

Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth said: “Today more than ever community sport and activity has a vital role to play in offering a solution to some of society’s biggest problems like our health, both mental and physical, helping to make life fairer for everyone, and growing and improving our economy.

“Everyone has a responsibility to keep our nation active. This new research provides evidence that can help local authorities, businesses and the voluntary sector to understand the value of promoting activity, especially as it will play an important part in helping the national to recover from the challenges 2020 has brought.”

The research shows how physical activity plays an important role in preventing a number of serious physical and mental health conditions, with a value to the economy of £9.5bn. Of this amount, £5.2bn was in healthcare savings, while £1.7bn was in social care savings.

A further £20bn in value came from stronger and safer communities, with 10,000 fewer crime incidents and improved levels of social trust, belonging and community engagement worth £14.2bn.

The research gives a clear picture of how community sport and physical activity significantly contributes positively to all five outcomes identified in the Government’s sports strategy, Sporting Future.

Click here to read more.


The Sport and Recreation Alliance has announced details of its 2020 Annual Conference for later this month.

The highly-popular Conference will this year take place entirely online over the week of September 21-25. However the agenda remains light touch with a morning and afternoon session being held each day throughout the week.

Furthermore, in light of Covid-19 and the need to unify the sport and physical activity sector, unlike in previous years, tickets will be free for all Alliance members and all organisations and clubs that are affiliated with an Alliance member.

Speakers include Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth, who will join Alliance counterpart Lisa Wainwright for a Q&A on the ‘Road Ahead’, and Jane Nickerson, who will discuss the challenges that she has faced as Chief Executive of Swim England over the last few months.

The event will have a particular focus on the harsh realities of this year, noting best practice and learnings whilst aiming to identify the sector’s next moves. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from peers and experts from inside and outside of the sector to ensure that they are prepared for the challenges to come and ready to embrace the opportunities that may arise.

Please visit the Alliance Membership Directory to see if you are an affiliated club. Non-members can still enjoy the week-long conference for just £60 per person.

Tickets can be booked here and will give you access to all sessions taking place during the week, excluding the AGM on Wednesday 23 September.