September 29, 2023
According to the World Health Organization, 81% of adolescents aged 11 to 17 are not meeting the global recommended levels for physical activity. This has resulted in a higher risk of noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes, as well as poor mental and overall wellbeing. One of the reasons is because cultural stereotypes based on gender, race, sexuality and assumed ability dictate who society considers an ‘acceptable’ mover to be. These narrow views impact people’s confidence and, therefore, their opportunities to move.
Launched in partnership with Beyond Sport in 2021, the Rexona (also known as Sure, Degree, or Shield) Breaking Limits Program is equipping young people with the confidence and opportunity to move more, however they want, by breaking down the barriers holding them back. Over the years, the program has expanded into more countries, impacting many young people, coaches, mentors and leaders and has plans to continue broadening its reach and impact. It supports Unilever's commitment to improve health and wellbeing and advance equity and inclusion, reaching one billion people per year by 2030.
Initially starting in Brazil, the UK and the US, the program soon expanded to Argentina and Mexico in 2022. In 2023, to coincide with the Women’s World Cup, it grew again to encompass Australia and New Zealand, while also adding Colombia and India. Altogether the program is positively impacting hundreds of thousands of 12–24-year-olds through the engagement of thousands of coaches in communities around the world.
The program consists of the Breaking Limits training series, which is a set of free digital training modules co-created with leading sport for development NGOs. These organizations used their combined years of sport for development and youth engagement experience to infuse best practices on social issues and ways to address barriers to movement such as inclusion, gender equality and access. The training – available in English (UK and US speaking), Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese – intends to help coaches, teachers and mentors better support their participants to build confidence by tackling specific barriers to movement.
Each module is suitable for coaches and community leaders of all levels, whether they are just starting their journey or are experienced practitioners looking for new ideas. The 17 modules span a variety of issues and topics including inclusion, confidence, disability inclusion and access, gender equality, LGBTQ+ inclusion, mental wellbeing, women’s inclusion and intellectual disabilities inclusion.
In addition to the training series, the program provides capacity-building grants to grassroots organizations that use sport and physical activity to achieve positive outcomes among the young people they reach. Combined, coaches from these NGO’s can enhance their programs and reach. To date, the program has supported more than 60 different on-ground NGO partners across nine countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and US.
“The biggest impact we’ve seen so far is in the young leaders’ confidence and self-esteem. Many of these young people have had their lives transformed through sports. Through this work, we are helping them explore how they can turn this into helping others,” shared Patrick Ashcroft, Senior Global Partnerships Manager at Brazilian NGO partner, Luta Pela Paz.
In 2022, Rexona also joined forces with another expert partner, We Are Futures, to expand reach into hundreds of schools across the UK. The education initiative focuses on helping students build their confidence and activity levels. It provides inclusive and accessible lessons plans and in-classroom activities for PE (physical education) and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) teachers.
The Breaking Limits Program has committed to breaking down barriers that restrict young people from moving more and is doing just that. Beyond Sport is excited to continue working alongside Rexona to expand the reach and impact of the program across a greater number of countries to empower more young people with the confidence to move however they want.
We are honored to have the following NGOs join us as part of the Breaking Limits Program since 2021:
Argentina: El Desafío Foundation, La Nuestra Fútbol Femenista, Love.fútbol Argentina, Special Olympics Argentina
Australia: Aspire Community Cairns Limited, Charity Bounce, Creating Chances, Moriarty Foundation, Special Olympics Australia
Brazil: ACER Brasil, Instituto Bola pra Frente, Fundação Gol de Letra, Instituto Fazer Acontecer, Instituto Rodrigo Mendes, SEJA, Luta Pela Paz (Fight for Peace), Futebol Social, Instituto Esporte & Educação, love.fútbol Brazil, Rede Esporte Pela Mudanca Social (REMS), Street Child United Brazil, Special Olympics Brazil, UmRio
Colombia: Fundación Tiempo de Juego
India: Slum Soccer (Krida Vikas Sanstha)
Mexico: Fútbol Más Mexico, Love.fútbol Mexico, Proyecto Cantera Juntos por México A.C., Special Olympics Mexico, Transformación Social TRASO A.C.
New Zealand: Disability Sport Auckland, Māori Football Aotearoa, Shift Foundation, Special Olympics New Zealand
UK: Activity Alliance, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Greenhouse Sports, Girls United FA, Premiership Rugby Foundations, Special Olympics Great Britain, Sported, Street Soccer London, StreetGames, The Change Foundation, UK Coaching
US: America SCORES New York, Beyond Sports Foundation, Dancing Grounds, Figure Skating in Harlem, Generation Spirit, Girls Rugby, Inc., Harlem Lacrosse, Lost Boyz, Inc., L.E.A.D. Center for Youth, New Heights Youth, Inc., PeacePlayers United States, Play Equity Fund, Positive Coaching Alliance, Shooting Touch, Soccer in the Streets, Soccer without Borders, Street Soccer USA, The Sports Creative, Youth Run NOLA
Everyone should be able to experience the benefits of physical activity. If you’re a sport for development organization working with youth aged 12-24, explore the Rexona Breaking Limits Training Series today - now available for FREE in Spanish, Portuguese and English. Sign up to access the training series here: