The annual global gathering of Beyond Sport, an international organisation using sport for social change, is set to take place in South Africa in late October with a range of high-profile speakers.
Previous Beyond Sport Global Summits have featured Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, a patron of the organisation, as well as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali and football star David Beckham.
Speakers at this year’s event include David Grevemberg, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, as well as Baroness Valerie Amos, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.
South African soccer legend Lucas Radebe is a Beyond Sport ambassador, and chair of the host committee.
“I am a great believer in Beyond Sport’s mission, not only here in South Africa, but globally,” he said.
This will be the second Global Summit to be hosted in South Africa, after it was successfully held here in 2011.
“I am excited that Beyond Sport’s flagship event, the Global Summit, is returning to South Africa,” said Radebe. “I am especially proud that for the first time it will be held in my hometown of Soweto. It seems like yesterday that I was welcoming the world to Soweto for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
“It is extremely important that South Africa continues to be a hub for global sports events and initiatives. We have, and can continue, to set the pace for sport as a vehicle for social change.”
Stories of change and transformation
The three-day Global Summit will include activity sessions, in-depth workshops and main stage panels. It will be held from 28 to 30 October at venues across Johannesburg, including community centres, the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto and Vodacom World in Midrand.
According to Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson, “The entire chain of organisations, from brands to well-meaning community activists, go the Beyond Sport Summit – the people who combine to make actual tangential impact.”
The Beyond Sport Global Summit brings together influential leaders in sport, business and community development. Delegates include politicians, community activists, corporate executives and sporting icons. The idea is to inspire participants with stories of change and transformation; innovative approaches to using sport as a tool for social change.
“No other event in the world of sport brings together such a wide range of individuals, brands and sectors,” Beyond Sport said in a statement. “Over 65% of delegates are in leadership and decision-making positions within their organisation. It is a global gathering of corporate brands, national and international sport governing bodies, professional sport leagues and teams and world-renowned international development organisations.”
According to organisers, the event promises to be a “festival of innovation, insight and inspiration”. The aim is to explore ways sport can help tackle pressing social problems “through the creation of pathways and opportunities towards healthier, socially inclusive and financially secure lives”.
It will celebrate local and international social activists, and focus on the potential offered by young people in the future leaders they will become – in sport, business, politics and in driving social change.
“Through a tailored programme of community site visits, activity sessions, in- depth workshops and main stage panels, we will celebrate existing efforts of a local and global community of change-makers and create a new vision of the future with an event that will support, empower and inspire the next generation of young leaders, on and off the field.”