By launching the Sport Together Fund, this powerful partnership harnesses sport’s undoubted power to help refugees.
There are times when you take a moment to sit back and reflect just how lucky you are to be part of sport’s global network, and just how powerful and influential that network can be. The 2022 Sports Industry Awards (SIA’s) was one of those moments.
Every year these awards honour those who have gone above and beyond and, more often than not, made a real and lasting difference to people’s lives. As spring becomes summer, it has never been so important to shine that light. This year’s awards, though, introduced an even grander ambition.
Sport as a power for good
Beyond Sport was set-up to tackle social issues across the globe. In the year of its inception, back in 2008, the thought of a war on European soil in the 21st century was an unthinkable prospect. As we now know, though, a lot has changed in the intervening period. What hasn’t altered is sport’s ability to act as a cohesive force for good. Whether that’s through participation. Or by utilising sport’s collective might to raise money and awareness for important causes when they so desperately need it. That time is now.
The SIA’s kicked off with the sobering story of how members of the Afghanistan women’s team were rescued from persecution and a Taleban hunt for athletes who have raised the profile of women’s sport in the country to previously unseen levels. Terrifying footage of the scenes witnessed at Kabul airport following the Western withdrawal served to highlight the gauntlet that the players were forced to run. The interviews with the key personnel who oversaw their evacuation, including captain, Khalida Popal, former coach, Kelly Lindsey, and award winner Kat Craig, a human rights lawyer and CEO of Athlead, also illustrated the extraordinary bravery, sacrifice and commitment of everyone involved.