Sports for Social Impact
By David Thibodeau
Sports for Social Impact seeks to explore and educate on the power that sport has to create a positive impact on society through sport for development and peace. Specifically looking at sport policy how we can use it for maximum impact. The hope is that these conversations and ideas will help achieve the maximum benefit of sport in our society.
Make sure you follow us on Twitter to stay connected! @SportsSocImpact
Make sure you follow us on Twitter to stay connected! @SportsSocImpact
Sport and Health (with ENGSO Youth)
Iva Glibo, is an ENGSO youth Committee member representing the Croatian Olympic Committee. She is a Research Associate and PhD Candidate at the Technical University of Munich. Her areas of interest and study are sustainable development, physical activity and mental health, monitoring and evaluation. ENGSO Youth is the independent youth body of the European Sports NGO (ENGSO). ENGSO Youth focuses on the youth sport-for-all sector in Europe and represents young Europeans under the age of 35 in sports in 34 countries.
May 16, 2022
Future of Sport (with Global Sports Week)
Noémie Claret is the Managing Director of Global Sports Week Paris. Formerly she held the roles of Communication Director of Sport dans la Ville, Head of Brand Comms of the Paris 2024 Bid Committee and Managing Director of Havas Sports & Entertainment Brazil. Laura Stargel is a graduate student at the German Sport University in Cologne studying International Sport Development and Politics. Her research is at the intersection of equitable resilience and access to sport participation. She recently served as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee. Her work has been recognized by Global Sports Week, selected as a two-time Young Sports Maker, and as a speaker at the University of Louisville, Florida Climate Week, and on the Climate Champions podcast, among others. Laura also plays ruby in the Washington DC area. Sport is facing a global revolution. Around the world, the speed of digitization is matched only by the pace of societal change. Today, sport requires a new mindset, one that transcends profits and addresses the expectations of the new generation. We are convinced that sport, in this context of transformation, can play a bigger role in addressing the major social challenges of our age. It’s time for action, to reconnect sport with its true purpose and redefine its role in society into a force for good and a force for innovation. At the intersection between the worlds of business, culture, media, politics and civil society, GSW curates, informs, connects and empowers a community made of all the actors who shape the future of sport. To do so, GSW offers a privileged platform and setting, which looks to federate the wider sports ecosystem beyond the traditional issues of the sports industry.
April 25, 2022
Sport and Homelessness
Eric Houghton has been involved with the Homeless World Cup since he was the England captain back in 2003. But it was a chance conversation with one of his mates Dave Morton – who doesn’t like football one bit – that led to them launching the Homeless Games. There are huge benefits for each and every homeless person who takes part. A chance to improve their health, both physical and mental. Developing their confidence and pride. Helping them to find new pathways, gaining new skills and accessing much-needed support. Since 2010, The Homeless Games (THG) has hosted the two-day annual Homeless Games in Liverpool, providing ‘Olympic style’ games for people who are or have experienced homelessness in last two years with participants coming from across the UK to take part. THG has arranged and organised provision for health and well-being stalls and services including Cancer Awareness, Drink Awareness, Substance Misuse, Sexual Health Advice, Massage, Health Checks, Premier League Health Courses, Dental Advice, Healthy Eating and Dietary Advice were made available to all those who attended the main two day event. These were offered in conjunction with the local area Primary Care Trusts, the local Premier League Football Clubs (Everton Foundation and Liverpool Football Club), Age Concern and Local Authorities. Twitter: @HomelessGames Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Homeless-Games-138993546124986
April 04, 2022
Sport and Servicemen and Women (Invictus Games)
Conny Wenting is a passionate all-around business leader with over 30 years of experience in a wide rande of marketing, (solution) sales, strategy, operations and people management roles. She is a strong team builder and driver of success. During one of her sport leaderships programs, she challenged herself in using sport as a driving force in personal development and healing and decided to try to get the Invictus Games to the Netherlands. She succeeded and the Games are happening April 16-22, 2022. Sam Newell was part of the communications team for the inaugural London 2014 Invictus Games. After the Games, he joined Step Up To Serve, the charity that coordinates the #iwill Campaign for youth social action. He remained a fan of the Games and briefly supported the communications team for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 before joining the Invictus Games Foundation full time from September 2018. The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country. The inaugural Invictus Games was held in London in September 2014. Since then, the Invictus Games have been held in Orlando, USA (2016), Toronto, Canada (2017), and Sydney, Australia (2018).
March 14, 2022
Sport and Higher Education
Mathatho Manaka is currently a Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) student pursing her research in the topic of ‘Delivery on sustainable development programmes by non-governmental organisations in the sport-for-development sector in Johannesburg’. Her goal is to serve sport on multiple platforms whilst making an impact. Rough Diamond is a university sports development recruitment project that uses sport as a tool for long-term impact. The project aims to encourage universities to recruit sports talent from developing communities with the support of dedicated bursaries. Instagram: instagram.com/roughdiamond_project/ Facebook: facebook.com/roughdiamondproject/
February 14, 2022
Sport and Placemaking
Anna Louise Bradley is both an urban psychologist and geographer in training, as well as a fitness professional, based in Amsterdam. Working with STIPO and Placemaking Europe since 2018, Anna has worked on projects using an integral placemaking and feminist approach to coalesce the perspectives of health, well-being, public space, inclusivity, and participatory processes to make our cities more liveable and active. Specifically, Anna is passionate to facilitate our built environment to foster physical activity in our daily lives to bring out upwards spirals for greater public health measures, social cohesion, and sense of belonging. You can learn more about her work on this topic, and specifically with the P.A.R.K. project, funded by Erasmus+ Sports, here: https://placemaking-europe.eu/listing/placemaking-for-active-recreation-kit-park/ Placemaking Europe is a network for placemaking in Europe, connecting practitioners, academics, community leaders, market actors and policy makers throughout Europe in the field of placemaking, public space, social life, human scale and the city at eye level. They develop and share knowledge; develop, test and use tools; exchange ideas; and actively shape projects together. They support and collaborate with organisations who want to work on placemaking, social life, human scale, and a better eye level experience. What is placemaking? The quality of the public space defines the participation of citizens. Cities need great streets which connect to even better places. A public zone has to be intuitively useable. Users should want to stay and feel home. The urban architecture has to provide good plinths (active ground floors) in the human scale. Placemaking Europe is connecting a growing number of practitioners, academics, community leaders, market parties and policy makers throughout Europe. The members employ placemaking tools and work on public spaces. The network shares knowledge, exchanges ideas, and actively shapes projects together. Placemaking Europe - Placemaking for Active Recreation Kit (PARK) Website: https://placemaking-europe.eu/listing/placemaking-for-active-recreation-kit-park/ STIPO Website: https://stipo.nl/
January 25, 2022
Grassroots Sport Diplomacy
Mogens Kirkeby is the President of the International Sport & Culture Association (ISCA) since 2007. He holds a Master of Science in Sport, organizational development, sport policies, social sciences and international politics from Copenhagen University, Denmark. Mogens is a member of the Council of Europe’s Consultative Committee of the sport collaboration EPAS and a board member of the Danish sport for all organisation DGI and the Danish Outdoor Council. The International Sport & Culture Association (ISCA) is an umbrella association for grassroots sport organisations. ISCA consists of 290 member organisations from 90 countries. Their mission is to empower organisations worldwide to enable citizens to the enjoy their Human Right to MOVE. ISCA delivers Grassroots Sport Diplomacy and organizes the bi-annual MOVE Congress gathering grassroots sport leaders from across the world. ISCA host the Now We MOVE Campaign including MOVE Week.
January 03, 2022
Sport and the Active Economy
Heather Chapple is a community builder who is passionate about bringing people, tools, and technology together to build adaptive ecosystems. She holds a Master’s in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is trained in design thinking, data analysis and public engagement. Her career has spanned international humanitarian response coordination with the United Nations, leading a civic innovation lab to build smart city prototypes, and partnering with industry-leading clients to develop agile data solutions. With ActiveCITY, she's thrilled to be bringing together partners in the active economy to strengthen this important sector. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org ActiveCITY is a collective of agencies and organizations focused on connecting the active economy to help all Calgarians live happier, healthier, more active lives. The active economy contributes 3.3 billion to Calgary's economy and is a vital cornerstone of the story of our city. Learn more at: https://www.activecitycollective.ca/
December 13, 2021
Sport and Indigenous Reconciliation
Serene Porter is a Halifax-based multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, and facilitator from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory (Mohawk Nation) in Ontario. In her work as an art therapist, as well as in the Integrated Learning workshops she has developed and delivered, Serene has helped people of all ages to explore healing and creative expression through art, nature, and cultural connection. Most recently, Serene serves as Director of Culture, Engagement and Legacy for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), where her artistic talents, engagement experience, facilitation skills, and abiding passion for Indigenous sport and culture make her an integral part of the NAIG leadership team. With a strong foundation of personal and professional experience, Serene Porter holds a unique skill set and perspective that allows her to act as a catalyst for others, as they seek to discover their own resiliency, determination, and boundless creativity. NAIG 2023: Kjipuktuk, as it is called by the Mi’kmaw Nation will host competitions in 16 sports over seven days and within 21 venues across Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia. NAIG 2023 will bring together more than 5000 athletes, coaches and team staff from 756 Indigenous Nations celebrating, sharing and reconnecting through sport and culture with the help of 3000 volunteers. NAIG 2023 will take place from July 15-23. Find out more about NAIG 2023 and how you can volunteer on their website: https://naig2023.com/ Find out more about the NAIG Council and it's history: http://naigcouncil.com/ Read more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and their Calls to Action (CTA) (the sport-specific CTAs are 87, 88, 89, 90, 91): https://nctr.ca/records/reports/
November 18, 2021
Sport and Athlete Power
In this episode we explore the immense power that athletes have by using their voice to talk about challenging issues in society. From Simone Biles talking about mental health at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, to Lebron James speaking out on social injustice, to over 300 British Olympians and Paralympians signed a letter to United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the government to lead a green recovery as the UK deals with the coronavirus pandemic. These issues that athletes are passionate about are real and very serious. We speak with Anastasia Bucsis who is a Canada Games alumni, 2X Olympic Speedskater, and born and raised in Calgary. In the lead up to Sochi 2014 Anastasia came out publicly in opposition to Russia's anti LGBTQ+ laws, and competed as the only 'out' athlete from North America. Following her athletic career Anastasia joined the CBC Sports team where she launched and hosted the Player's Own Voice Podcast. She is a host and analyst at CBC, hosting on multiple platforms while still staying connected to her speedskating roots, by providing colour commentary on Road to the Olympic Games. Anastasia is a passionate advocate for mental health issues, eradicating homophobia in sport, and telling the stories of Canada's High Performance athletes. Be sure to check out the Player's Own Voice Podcast anywhere you get your podcasts!
October 06, 2021
Sport and Plastic Pollution
Val de Falbaire is the founder of Precious Plastics Mauritius and one of the IOC Young Leaders (2019-2020). Val grew up with sport and had a career in swimming and triathlon for about 15 years. In 2014, he was elected by the Mauritius National Olympic Committee as a Young Change-Maker and started his project called AgingWell which is focused on tackling the high levels of diabetes and obesity in Mauritius through sport activities. He has since started Precious Plastics Mauritius. Precious Plastics Mauritius (PPM) started with a team of volunteers, who constructed two recycling machines and some moulds. Today there are seven recycling machines that can make beach tennis racquets, sport medals, swimming paddles, rock climbing grips and other non sport related products. Every two weeks, beach cleanups are organized and volunteers and school kids are invited to join and realize the impact of plastic pollution. The beach cleanup always starts with a visit to the recycling hub and fisheries with some beach games using recycled sports equipment.
August 23, 2021
Sport with Social Purpose (Commonwealth Sport Canada)
Ryan Pelley currently leads Commonwealth Sport Canada’s SportWORKS Program, which integrates sport development and sport for development programming to promote individual and community social development, and build national sport system capacity, throughout the Commonwealth. He grew up in a small community on the northwest coast of British Columbia. The town of Kitimat is on the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation. Like many rural living youth, he played all the sports that were available to him. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate and understands that this is not the case for all youth in Canada, especially nowadays. Sport played a role in shaping who he is and what he does through the values he gained. Working in sport and sport for development over the past 12 years has provided Ryan the opportunity to live and work in some of the world’s most unique locations, including as a Canadian SportWORKS Officer on the remote island of Saint Helena. Commonwealth Sport Canada (CSC) Founded as a legacy of the inaugural Commonwealth Games in 1930, CSC is a founding member of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and is responsible for the growth and development of the Commonwealth sport movement in Canada. CSC is a registered non-profit, private charity, comprised of 40 Members (16 individuals and 24 national sport organizations), governed by an elected Board of Directors, and supported by a small cadre of staff. Their vision is Commonwealth sport inspires and unites Canadians by championing excellence, inclusion and human rights. SPORT WITH A SOCIAL PURPOSE Commonwealth Sport is “Sport with a Social Purpose”: First International Games to achieve Gender Equality, with more medaling events for women than men. First, and only, international Games to have a Reconciliation Action Plan, respecting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and leave a lasting and meaningful legacy through employment and training, procurement, and showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures. First, and only, international Games to integrate a Para-Sport program as full medal status. First International Major Games franchise holder to embed Human Rights across all operations and programs. Commonwealth Sport Canada: https://commonwealthsport.ca/ SportWORKS: https://commonwealthsport.ca/sportworks/sportworks-home.html
August 03, 2021
Sport and Social Inclusion with Special Olympics Singapore
Sport is key for social inclusion of all people. It has been identified as an important tool for breaking down barriers such as language, religion, gender, ability and borders to create a more inclusive society. Special Olympics (SO) Singapore is part of a global inclusion movement using sports, health, education & leadership programme to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. SO Singapore provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship. Jean-Phillipe: Is a 36-year-old French citizen based in Singapore for 4 years, engaged with my future wife. He is the Director of business Development in an engineering and inspection Asian regional firm for Energy and Sustainable sectors. He is passionate about triathlon and running, and is a half-ironman finisher x4 times and I am targeting the Ironman 70.3 world championship in 2022. 6 months ago, a good Singaporean friends and member of his triathlon club introduced him to SO outreach program and Norman, as I wanted to volunteer and giving back to the community. Norman: Is 33 this year and currently working as a project executive in an urban farm. He is quite the runner himself, starting in the early years with basketball before moving into long distance running, including ultramarathons. He heard about SO Singapore in 2014 from a lecturer who was then the President of Special Olympics Singapore - she made a statement saying that she bet the majority of us could't outrun the fastest athlete in the outreach program. That spurred him to start volunteering with SO Singapore a try since he wanted to impart his running knowledge and experience somewhere. He has been volunteering since. The role of the head coach was then handed over to him at the beginning of 2018 and it is a great joy serving everyone in the outreach program.
July 12, 2021
Sport, Youth, and Sustainable Development
Genuine youth engagement is hard to come by. That is no different in sport. In this episode I chat with Ugnė Chmeliauskaitė from ENGSO Youth on how to engage and empower youth outside of sport, but also in and through sport. We also take a look at sustainable development in and through sport, and how youth are uniquely positioned to contribute to sustainable development in their communities. Ms. Ugnė Chmeliauskaitė is an elected chair of Engso Youth, responsible for the strategic planning and development of the organisation. She has been involved with the organisation for more than 6 years, starting with the position of Young delegate in 2015-2017 mandate, elected committee member in 2017-2019 mandate and currently running 2019-2021 mandate as ENGSO Youth chair. For this period of time, besides overall coordination, she is also leading a social inclusion working group, using sport as a tool for inclusion. Additionally, she is highly familiar with non-formal education, youth empowerment, skills development and sustainability topics. Ugne has University Education in International Relations and Political Science and has a Master Degree in International Communication. As for her daily capacity Ugnė is occupied as an International Cooperation expert working in the Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) in Lithuania responsible for preparation, administration and implementation of international and national development cooperation projects, where sustainability, youth empowerment and civil society cooperation is one the highest priority. ENGSO Youth is the independent youth body of the European Sports NGO (ENGSO). ENGSO Youth focuses on the youth sport-for-all sector in Europe and represents young Europeans under the age of 35 in sports in 34 countries.
June 14, 2021
Sport and Activism
Sports have a power to inspire. It has the power to capture the imagination and attention of the public and draw their attention to important issues in our society. Sport can be used to advocate for changes in our society through activism. In this episode, we explore how 4 young people in France are using the sport of swimming to create a conversation surrounding cigarette butt pollution. Chloe Leger is 24 years old, working in product engineering in R&D at MAPED. She is living in Annecy, France. She is the co-founder and one of 4 swimmers of 0Megot. 0Megot is a charity aiming to raise awareness about cigarette butt pollution, by swimming down the river Seine, 380km, to retrace the symbolic route of a cigarette butt from the city of Paris to the Ocean. Follow their journey on their social media: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/0megot/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/0megot/
May 24, 2021
Sport and Quality Education
Identified by the United Nations as an important tool to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal #4, Quality Education, sport can be used in multiple ways to facilitate progress towards this goal. In this episode we explore how sport can be incorporated and used in school curriculum's to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) lessons. Jesse Lovejoy is the director of 49ers EDU & the San Francisco 49ers Museum. He is also the managing partner of EDU Academy. Lovejoy joined the 49ers in August 2013, when he was brought on to envision and implement educational and community programming for the 49ers, and develop the content of and operating structure/plan for the 49ers Museum. While spearheading the 2014 launch of the Museum—a 20,000 square foot facility featuring 11 unique gallery and exhibit spaces exclusively dedicated to the 49ers past, present and future—Lovejoy concurrently led the 49ers into a domain where no professional sports organization had ventured before, a comprehensive STEAM Education Program for students in grades K-8, completely free to the end-user. In 2017, as inbound interest in the 49ers STEAM efforts continued to rise, Lovejoy formed and launched EDU Academy, a consulting arm which helps organizations envision, build and launch education programs. You can find out more about the 49ers EDU on their website: https://www.49ers.com/community/49ersedu You can connect with Jesse Lovejoy on Twitter (@JesseLovejoy1) and Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-lovejoy-26ba745/)
May 11, 2021
Sport and LGBTQ Inclusion
Sport can be used as a tool for inclusion for all members of society if used correctly. However there remain many barriers for marginalized communities to participating in sports, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community. In this episode we take a deeper dive into ways that sport can be used for inclusion, what some of the barriers are for people entering sports, and how we can start addressing them. We speak to Dennis Quesnel who is a queer sports enthusiast focusing on the promotion of inclusion and education in sport. They are a Project Management Officer at Egale Canada, an organization focused on 2SLGBTQI people and issues. Dennis has an academic background in human rights and social service work which have both developed his abilities in practicing empathy and allyship. Outside of work, you'll find them spending their time in the Canadian dodgeball community, with experience as a Coach, an Organizer, and most recently qualifying for Dodgeball Canada's 2020 National Championships. Dennis' goal is to create safer and more accessible spaces for all 2SLGBTQI people involved in sport and physical activity. A note on abbreviations: LGBTQ+ is mostly used throughout the episode due to it being more generally applicable around the world. You may hear different abbreviations such as 2SLGBTQ+ or LGBTQI2S+ also used. 2S stands for two spirit and is term specific to indigenous peoples in North America, it refers to a person who embodies both a masculine and feminine spirit. There is a growing movement in North America to put 2S at the beginning of 2SLGBTQ+ to reflect the fact that indigenous people were here first and should be put first. Resources for LGBTQ Inclusion: Coach New Brunswick: http://coachnb.ca/lgbtqi2s-support/ Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports: https://cces.ca/sites/default/files/content/docs/pdf/cces-transinclusionpolicyguidance-e.pdf Via Sport BC: https://www.viasport.ca/inclusion/lgbtqi2s Canadian Women & Sport: https://womenandsport.ca/resources/publications/leading-the-way/ Canadian Olympic Committee: https://olympic.ca/education/one-team-2/ Transathlete.com: https://www.transathlete.com/ You Can Play: https://www.youcanplayproject.org/ Athlete Ally: https://www.athleteally.org/
April 19, 2021
Sport and Social Business
Under the leadership of Peace Nobel Laureate Prof Yunus, the social business movement has been tackling global challenges, across all industries, for the past 40 years. Who is Prof Yunus? What is social business? What does it bring to the sport table? How to get involved? This episode aims to give you the why and how of sport and social business. Abby Smith is the Community Manager Yunus Sports Hub. She is interested in tackling the income and opportunity gaps in sport, Abby found her passion for sport & social business. She has experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors of youth sports. While competing in the NCAA, Abby launched an urban youth lacrosse program in partnership with US Lacrosse. Outside of lacrosse, Abby has delivered sport for development programs in over 12 different countries throughout Europe, Africa, and North America. In 2019, Abby moved across the pond and earned a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Nottingham. Join the Sports & Social Business Community: https://yunussportshub.com/sign-up/
March 29, 2021
Sport and Sustainability
Sustainability and climate action has become an important topic, especially for a lot of young people. This month my guest is Courtney Burk as we talk about sport & recreation and sustainability. Courtney is a graduate of Renaissance College (2017) and is currently working on her Master of Science in Environmental Management at UNB, studying wildlife connectivity. She has always been an environmentalist but found her love of trail and ultra running while living in Canmore, Alberta and now uses running to connect herself and others to nature. She is a Dirtbag Runners Ambassador, to support a safe and supportive community that encourages getting outside, respecting the planet, and sharing the stoke of adventure. You can connect with her online through Instagram (@shortneyxox) or Twitter (@CourtneyBurk2) if you love running, nature, animal puns or environmental content. Courtney summed herself up: “I like to run. I like to snack. I like to play outside. I like science. I love my cat and my partner. The end.
February 02, 2021
Sport and Leadership
Sports can contribute to developing important life skills such as leadership and qualities that go along with it; such as empathy, responsibility and time management. In the very first episode of Sports for Social Impact, David speaks with former classmate Ryan Cobb on how sport can foster leadership qualities in athletes. Since graduating from the University of New Brunswick's Leadership school, Renaissance College in 2016, Ryan Cobb completed the Venture for Canada program and has been working in a tech startup. In this episode they explore how sport has contributed to their definition of leadership and how sport and recreation contribute to effective leadership.
November 24, 2020