In under two weeks’ time, on the 26th July, the second edition of Beyond The Games kicks off.
With nations set to gather for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, global foundation Beyond Sport is convening 300 leaders from the domestic and international sport sector to explore, debate and share insights on sport’s role in addressing the UK’s most pressing social and sectoral issues.
Sport Industry Group was announced as one of Beyond The Games’ strategic partners last month so we sat down with Beyond Sport Executive Director, Fred Turner, to find out more about the event…
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Beyond Sport?
Like many, I am a sports fan through and through, but I found my calling when I entered the world of social impact and development back in 2015 with Beyond Sport.
Bringing my experience in production, partnerships and networks to the world of sport and business, I am very fortunate to now be in the position of executive director, where I lead our global efforts to place sport at the heart of addressing the world’s most pressing issues. We’re doing this through funding, capacity building, partnerships and campaigns, working with our amazing team and boards across the world.
I’m passionate about finding ways to connect the sport industry and business more closely and actively to those who are using sport as a tool to stimulate positive change in the communities they serve. Through authentic partnerships and strategies that deliver genuine local impact and, ultimately, advance the use of sport with intention. We’re able to do this with our incredible partners around the world including the NFL, Comic Relief, ESPN, DICK’s Sporting Goods, WWE, Rexona, North Face, Sport England and many more.
It’s an exciting time of growth for Beyond Sport and with over $5 million in direct funding being disseminated in the past three years alone and focusses on mental wellbeing, racial justice, gender equality and the refugee crisis at the forefront of our efforts. We’re leveraging our influence and reach to have the greatest possible impact we can.
What is Beyond the Games and why should people be excited?
Beyond the Games is an opportunity for the sport sector. A one day convening just ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where attendees can collaborate and learn alongside hundreds of organisations and individuals that are leading the way in making a positive social impact through sport in the UK. I think that’s exciting - having access to a diverse range of thought leaders all in one place to explore the key challenges and opportunities facing leaders across the sport sector.
As Birmingham 2022 celebrates global community and human potential, Beyond the Games will similarly elevate sport as a platform to help our local communities grow and succeed.
Who is going to be there?
From speakers to attendees, the domestic and international sport sector and key stakeholders from similarly minded sectors will be out in force at Villa Park including leaders from brands, teams & leagues, NGOs, Rights Holders, Local Authorities, International Federations, National Governing Bodies and academia.
Attendees can hear and engage with the likes of the CEOs of Sport England and UK Sport, the Global Senior Brand Manager for Rexona/Sure, the Chair of the British Athlete’s Commission, and the Senior Development Lead of NHS England’s National Health & Justice Childrens Programme. And world class athletes who were at the top of their sport and are now using their platforms to create change off the field.
Attending will be representatives from Team GB, LTA, Aston Villa FC, Premier League, Autodesk, NFL UK, Sport Relief, London Sport, Movember, Alliance of Sport, BUCS, Special Olympics, England Athletics, Youth Sport Trust, GreaterSport just to name a few.
What are the key themes that will run through this year’s event?
Beyond the Games 2022 has three primary themes:
TACKLING INEQUALITIES: Creating greater social equity in and through sport, including through safe and accessible spaces to play, community-led and owned programming, ending barriers to participation and a nationwide 'levelling up'.
HEALTH & WELLBEING: Maximising sport’s role in improving the physical, mental and social wellness of our communities, including trauma informed approaches, preventative programming and reducing the health equity gap.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: Realising sport's potential to lead the way in being planet positive, encompassing infrastructure, internal best practices, event delivery and advocacy.
And Beyond Sport’s ethos on collaboration and collective impact is the thread that runs through it all.
How are Beyond Sport and its partners helping push the agenda forward outside of the event itself?
Everything we do is based on bringing together the people and organisations who by working together can inspire new ways of thinking and innovative cross-sector alliances and public-private partnerships. With our global connections and experience and expertise built up over more than a decade, Beyond Sport can see how diverse sectors can effectively work together to accelerate positive social change through sport – and the platforms to bring them together.
For example, right now, we have the Sport Together Fund in partnership with UNHCR focused on using sport to help refugees and displaced persons coming out of humanitarian crises like the current war in Ukraine, the Breaking Limits Programme in partnership with Rexona to equip coaches, teachers and community leaders with the skills to empower young people around the world to move more, and the Return to Play Fund co-founded with ESPN to support marginalised Black and Brown communities coming out of the pandemic. All include the input of expert advisors and sport for development organisations closest to the issues.
How can people attend Beyond the Games 2022?
They can register at https://hopin.com/events/beyond-the-games/registration. There are three pricing options available as well as discounts for group purchases.