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Celebrate the social impact of Lionesses' triumph

Copyrights: Sport for Development Coalition

Celebrate the social impact of Lionesses' triumph

The Sport for Development Coalition has called on government and policy-makers to “seize the moment” and capitalise on how the Lionesses’ EURO 2022 victory can help to drive positive health and societal outcomes for the next generation of women and girls.

There have been many calls for increased and investment in driving participation in women’s football following England’s 2-1 win over Germany in the final at Wembley.

Alongside this, members of the Coalition – a national network of 250 charities and organisations that intentionally use sport to tackle inequalities and drive positive social outcomes – are calling for a greater focus and awareness of how sport and physical activity is being used every day across the UK to create positive change for young people and their communities.

“This is a fabulous achievement by the England team, and presents an amazing opportunity for the country to really unite behind how sport can be used to drive positive social change, become more diverse and help to tackle deeply-embedded inequalities,” said Hitesh Patel, Executive Director of the Coalition.

“Not only will these players become role models to a generation of young women and girls, they can help to shine a light on how sport and physical activity is helping to support under-represented individuals and communities, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and in the face of a cost-of-living crisis. Coalition network members understand that getting more women and girls involved, and increasing diversity in sport, is just the first part of how sport can help to build a fairer future.

“The next really exciting part is by being intentional and specific about the contribution of sport to programmes embedded within local communities and aimed, for example, at getting young people into work or training, supporting their mental wellbeing, or reducing the risk of them getting involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.”

To support this message, earlier this year the Coalition launched its #OpenGoal campaign which aims to highlight the contribution of sport to building a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future. #OpenGoal is based on a framework which has five key outcomes:

  • Improved health and wellbeing 
  • Closing the gap in education and development
  • Increased employability and skills 
  • Reduced crime and anti-social behaviour 
  • Stronger communities and social cohesion 

Across all of these themes is the role that sport can play in levelling up communities, tackling inequalities and sport for development’s role in climate action, for example increasing active travel or access to green spaces.

#OpenGoal will see a series of academic and policy reports being published over 18 months, with Coalition members aiming to build advocacy and working with Government and big business on how the intentional use of sport-based interventions can contribute to policy priorities while helping to save public money. Multiple returns on investment are created by these interventions as they simultaneously address numerous outcomes, as defined by #OpenGoal, so the Coalition is calling for future public funding to be targeted and ring-fenced for sport-based programmes.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 22:12

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