Over 300 UK and international sports leaders gathered at Aston Villa in Birmingham in the last week of July for the Beyond the Games conference 2022, sponsored by EVERFI and delivered by Beyond Sport, in partnership with Sport England and UK Sport. Participants shared insights and explored the role of sports in addressing the UK’s most pressing social issues.
It was a thought-provoking and inspiring couple of days that reminded us of the enormous value in bringing sports leaders together in one space to discuss, collaborate and share best practices in using sport to drive social good.
So what did we learn? We’ve summarised our top takeaways from the event:
1. Never underestimate the value of co-creation.
We were reminded of how important it is to ensure that target audiences – including young people and families – are involved in informing and shaping strategies and initiatives. Their role can influence how sport is delivered in their local communities and ensure that programmes have meaningful impact.
2. Look beyond the athlete.
We want the most diverse range of young people to believe they can become the athletes of the future, and to be able to do so. However, we also want them to aspire to be, and to be able to become, the sports administrators, coaches, and leaders of the future. You can’t be what you can’t see, and true representation is paramount.
3. Aim for true collaboration.
Collaboration is not only about consultation. All speakers reinforced that it’s about having a shared vision, using combined assets to achieve success. Building long and powerful partnerships, rather than brand stamping, is essential in supporting these efforts.
4. Push boundaries and challenge norms.
We loved hearing about SailGP’s new Impact League and how it tracks the positive actions their teams make to reduce their carbon footprint in an innovative and impactful way, rewarding responsibility and performance beyond the sport itself.
5. Move away from talking about legacy, especially in the context of major events.
We wholeheartedly agree with Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, who highlighted that, all too often, ‘legacy’ focuses on what is left after an event – rather than its potential to be a catalyst for change, create momentum, and spark something new.
Here’s a little more about EVERFI’s participation at the Beyond the Games conference:
The power of partnerships: campaign highlight
EVERFI’s director of Marketing, Strategy and Impact, Kathryn McColl, delivered a presentation with colleagues from Team GB and ParalympicsGB around the power of partnerships. Together, they discussed how local and national partners worked together to help children and families to become more active through the Travel to Tokyo initiative.
The Travel to Tokyo campaign was part of Get Set, Team GB’s and ParalympicsGB’s youth engagement programme. It was a national challenge through which families, particularly those from lower socio-economic groups, were encouraged to work together to travel the distance to Tokyo through physical activity. The programme, which engaged 854K children and 1,490 million family members, was funded by Sport England’s Families Fund, with additional support from Spirit of 2012 to resource the roll-out across the UK.
Inclusion and sports for all
Rakhee Radia, EVERFI’s Head of Consultancy and Strategy, joined forces with the England and Wales Cricket Board to lead a roundtable discussion focused on helping sports bodies to understand how to design sports offers to meet the needs of all young people.