Groundbreaking, brave, pioneering, creative and all out amazing – the winners of the global Beyond Sport Awards 2016 were celebrated in London last night for their inspirational work using sport to create positive social change. With the theme of ‘innovation’ running through the heart of this year’s Beyond Sport Summit, the Awards were the pinnacle in demonstrating how original approach and out-of-the-box thinking can help tackle some of the most pressing social issues in the world today.
From 250 entries, 42 projects were shortlisted for the eighth annual Beyond Sport Awards with 12 outstanding winners. Fulham Football Club Foundation’s fanActiv picked up Best New Innovation Beyond Sport Award - a new category for 2016 – that recognised their inventive use of digital platforms to turn the inherent rivalry between football fans into healthy competition.
GOALS Haiti won the Sport for Education Award for the life-changing work they achieve through their Leveling the Playing Field programme, providing education to impoverished children and adults in rural communities through the love of football.
Jolinda Hackett, Executive Director, GOALS Haiti said: “Winning this Award will allow us to continue to provide literacy classes for children and adults living in rural Haiti who have no other access to education. The need in Haiti is always great, particularly now Hurricane Matthew has devastated much of the country. This will go a long way to helping GOALS Haiti to rebuild local communities.”
PeacePlayers International received the Sport for Conflict Resolution Award for inspiring youths to challenge the historic divides in the communities of Palestine, Israel and Northern Ireland, through basketball. The Sport for Social Inclusion Award went to the Hockey Association of Malawi’s Community Reintegration Project for their use of hockey as a way to reduce the impact of social exclusion towards young people that are involved in crime, prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse.
Sport Team of the Year went to Chicago Fire Soccer Club for their P.L.A.Y.S programme which provides a safe and academically beneficial after-school programme for children living in low-income areas of the city where violence, crime and drug use is high.
Other winners included, Peres Center for Peace who picked up the Leadership in Sport Award, supported by Mischon de Reya; Chalk Talk Group Therapy – Doc Wayne Youth Services collected the Sport for Health Award; NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit were awarded the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport Award; Raising the BAR – Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing received Sport for Environment Award; Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year Award went to National Rugby League Ltd; City Football Group’s Cityzens Giving walked away with Corporate Citizenship Campaign of the Year Award; and the Barclays Sport for Employability & Enterprise Award was received by Street Elite – The Change Foundation & The Berkeley Foundation UK.
Thanks to the support of Comic Relief and Postcode Lottery Sport Foundation, winners of the Community Awards will receive over £200,000 of funding from the Beyond Sport Foundation. All winners also receive business support including fundraising from GivenGain, monitoring and evaluation intelligence from Upshot and legal advice from Mischon de Reya. Since 2009, Beyond Sport has awarded over $5.5 million worth of business support and funding that has allowed over 160 winning and shortlisted projects grow and become sustainable in their field.
Nick Keller, CEO and Founder of Beyond Sport said, “If you look at the geographical spread at this remarkable shortlist you can see how sport brings communities together no matter where you are in the world. The organisations we are celebrating tonight are at the cutting edge of social innovation, they work on limited resource and take huge risk, all to create positive impact – it is truly remarkable.”
The Beyond Sport Awards is part of the Beyond Sport Summit, supported by Global Partners Barclays, TIME and UNICEF.
For more information on Beyond Sport and the Beyond Sport Awards, visit www.beyondsport.org