Supporting the #OpenGoal Campaign – Let’s see inclusion and Equity in Action!

The UK Sports Association is marking the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on April 6th by supporting the launch of the ‘Open Goal’ campaign.

Open Goal, led by the Sport for Development Coalition, has been created with Coalition members, including the UK Sports Association to showcase how sport and physical activity can contribute to building a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future.

In particular, it will focus on how the 200-plus members of the Coalition specifically support a series of positive health and societal outcomes such as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and building stronger communities and social cohesion in the wake of Covid-19.

IDSDP takes place each year on April 6th and, according to the United Nations, presents “an opportunity to recognise the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe”. It is certain to resonate strongly in 2022 because of current conflict around the globe and in the wake of Covid-19.

First and foremost, Open Goal will see the Coalition calls on the UK Government to ring-fence funding committed for jobs, health and tackling crime towards targeted sport-based interventions that can save public money and generate multiple returns on investment, from improving the physical and mental health of individuals facing disadvantage and discrimination to increasing educational attainment and the ability to secure employment.

This will support the Government’s recently-launched ‘Levelling Up’ agenda which outlined 12 ‘Missions’ to be achieved by 2030, eight of which Coalition members are directly contributing.

Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive UK Sports Association said “Open Goal puts a spotlight on the enormous inequalities that we encounter every day, but the opportunities that exist to change that.  Athletes with intellectual impairment, down syndrome and autism, deserve recognition and support from sport, policymakers and government as they strive to excel in sport and see this translate to success in their everyday lives.  This isn’t where it needs to be. We need change now.”

McCillen continues “UKSA’s work in sport helps to tackle the inequalities that exist.  Progress can only be achieved if policymakers recognise and embrace the premise of really ‘levelling up’, really ‘enabling athletes’ and really investing in the people and our organisation to make it happen.  We need real change and investment to enable that change if the Government and the sector want real equity and inclusion for generations to come.”

Open Goal will also see the Coalition work with its partners across multiple sectors, for example by supporting the charity Made by Sport’s aim to secure more private sector and corporate investment into targeted programmes tackling the social issues faced by young people in communities across the UK. Made by Sport is an official partner of the Coalition.

Finally, Open Goal will also seek to champion sport’s role in tackling inequalities and building a fairer society through national and local media, helping to amplify the business case for scaled investment in targeted sport and physical activity-based interventions.

To find out more about the UK Sports Association and how you can support our ambitions contact us at 0203 633 6460 or email us at info@uksportsassociation.org 

Read more about the #OpenGoal campaign here