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Connecting Our #SameTeam Community in 2020

December 18, 2020   

In a year marked by crisis and division, it was very important to us to maintain and strenghten ties with the extended Beyond Sport family. You have been our - and each other’s - inspiration over the years, so with people facing extreme circumstances, we wanted to be proactive in continuing community, collaboration and support for our network.    

“As the pandemic hit, we evaluated where Beyond Sport was best placed to support our incredible sector. In this incredibly challenging period where organizations have had to deal with immediate challenges while seeking connection and reinvention, we hope our platforms have been uplifting and insightful, providing a place to connect with like-minded friends,” said Beyond Sport Director of Programming and Development, Fred Turner.  

“We look forward knowing the positive role of sport and movement on people’s lives has never been more understood - and with that comes hugely exciting opportunities for us all.” 

Here's a look back at some of the ways the Same Team network came together in a year like no other.  


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"Now, more than ever, we don't want you to feel alone." 

In April and May, you joined us from more than 51 countries for inspiration and support when we all needed it the most. Beyond Sport was happy to provide a platform for our partners at Premiership Rugby, ESPN Corporate Citizenship, Laureus Sport for Good, the Atlanta Hawks, Coaches Across Continents and Major League Baseball to share their expert insights and to answer questions.  

Across the sessions, they addressed the sport sector’s response to the changing landscape and spoke on challenges and solutions for sports for development organizations, teams and leagues. Attendees also joined smaller groups where they could speak more directly to their experiences and get advice from one another. 

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It was great to see so many faces, learn from the multitude of thoughts and ideas and leave with a renewed sense of connection during stressful times. 


Over four days in June, 750 attendees from 400+ organizations came from the worlds of professional sport, sport for social change, business, academia, development and the media to participate in our new digital learning experience.  

The interactive convening was something that Beyond Sport had long wanted to do – truly bring our global network and the sector together to harness its combined expertise, participation and inspiration. With attendees from 40 countries attending virtually, 2020 was the year we were able to bridge physical divides for our key event of the year. 

“Many programs worldwide are facing similar challenges and it's helpful to hear we are not alone. It's good to be reminded of the purpose behind our programs and how even in today's climate, we can still have a positive impact on the communities we serve.”
– Workshop Week participant 

Attendees spent more than 8500 hours engaging with content covering  Industry Solutions, Individual Improvement, Social Impact and Organizational Development, to seek out new opportunities to create a stronger industry and communities coming out of the pandemic.

We also took a special look at sport’s role in STEM education and mental health with sessions from the Sport and STEM Alliance and the Stay in the Game Network. And, Beyond Soccer targeted the future of soccer as tool for social change, gender equality across the industry and the formation of the new Women in Soccer network. 

Here are just some of the highlights:  

The Power of Sport for Mental Well-being: An Athlete's Perspective with Clark Carlisle, former Professional Footballer and mental health advocate; Brian Dawkins, NFL Hall of Famer and Founder and President of the Brian Dawkins Impact Foundation; and, Helen Richardson-Walsh, Team GB Olympic Gold Medalist and mental health advocate. Moderated by Radha Balani, thinkBeyond. 

Purpose Driven Partnership: The Future of Sports Sponsorship with Vivek Bapat, SVP of Purpose and Brand Experience, SAP; Kathryn Chappetto-Reagan, VP of Partnerships, WTA; Claire Furlong, General Manager and Marketing and Communications, ICC; and Scott Over, Commercial Director, World Sailing. Moderated by Nick Keller, Beyond Sport.

Special Workshop Week Edition of Dan Really Likes Wine with Schalk Brits, 2019 Rugby World Cup Winner; Faf Du Plessis, Former Captain, South Africa National Cricket Team; Michael Johnson, Team USA Multi-Olympic Gold Medalist, Track & Field and Founder, MJ Performance; and, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Team GB Olympic Gold Medalist, Field Hockey. Hosted by Dan Nicholl, Executive Producer, Dan Really Likes Wine

Keeping Gender Equity and Sports on the Agenda with Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Founder, Horn of Africa Development Initiative; Maria Bobenrieth, Executive Director, Women Win; Kate Dale, Strategic Lead of Campaigns, Sport England; and, Melissa Kilby, Executive Director, Girl Up. Moderated by Donna Orender, former President/Commissioner, WNBA: Founder, Generation W. 


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Beyond Sport House was created in 2019 as a place where participants could make their own agenda, focusing on the issues they care about, in formats that inspired action and interaction. In 2020, we took it virtual across five, impact-focused sessions.

530 attendees from 290 organizations across 45 countries engaged with a diverse range of speakers, event partners, Global Award shortlisters and winners and each other, to explore current societal and industry issues – all aligned with our Global Awards campaign.

“Virtual event experiences have plenty of benefits for current circumstances and it was great to learn new skills and have immediate access to a range of perspectives in a short time from across the world…” – House attendee 

From Beyond the Vote – where US teams shared insights on leverage their platforms in support of community civic engagement, to having the opportunity to speak directly with community-based organizations on ways to shift programming and re-imagine sport for social change, Beyond Sport House from Home was all about how we can all better collaborate for the future of our organizations, our sector and ourselves. And, the last session, a mini Mondial held in partnership with the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation, provided additional inspiration on how sport can be used to tackle conflict internationally.

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The series ended with special message from Peres Center Chairman, Chemi Peres, which especially resonates in a tumultuous 2020:

“Peace is in the heart of all of us. Discover the other, respect each other and play together…Believe in the power of optimism and the ability to change your reality for the better."

In the end, 2020 really showed that our connections are stronger than distance, and that as a sector, we will always innovate ways that sport can address the social issues of our time - even while reinventing the way we do business.

As our world continues to change, and eventually stabilize, we look forward to continuing to use our platforms in ways that are the most relevant and supportive to the sector and network. We hope you will have some time to recharge and stay tuned for exciting news in 2021!

We enjoy hearing from you, so please continue to email us at [email protected] and if you’re not signed up for our mailing list, please do so here!


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