International Inspiration and United Purpose
We were delighted to welcome the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics legacy charity, International Inspiration (IN), to the United Purpose family in October 2016. The merger between IN and United Purpose has brought exciting opportunities to integrate sport within a wide range of development programmes.
As part of the UK’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe made a promise "to reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport". This promise grew into the International Inspiration Programme, the largest sport and social legacy initiative of its kind at the time of the London 2012 Games.
From its launch in 2007 until 2014, IN has used to sport to reach over 25 million children, train over 250,000 local leaders and influence 55 national policies and strategies across 21 countries.
Together, United Purpose and International Inspiration embrace the universal power of sport to educate and enable young people to rewrite the future.
Integrating sport within community-based development programmes is a unique way to engage young people on their own terms. Sport can be used as a tool to create a safe, dynamic and interactive learning environment, where young people can grow in confidence, explore their identity, discuss the challenges they face and develop essential life skills.
Sport is particularly effective at reaching out to marginalised groups, especially disenfranchised young people, in some of the world's most remote, insecure and challenging contexts. It is a great vehicle for tackling sensitive issues and deeply rooted negative social norms, in a non-confrontational way.
The Sustainable Development Goals highlights sport as "an important enabler of sustainable development", through its capacity to empower women, young people, individuals and communities in the areas of health, education, social inclusion and promoting tolerance.
UP's Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) approach tackles the impact of poverty, injustice and insecurity on disenfranchised youth by using sport to:
- Improve quality of life
- Increase access to opportunity
- Empower them to make informed decisions
Our SDP programmes are designed in partnership with local organisations, directly responding to the needs of young people and the challenges they face. They provide compelling evidence that sport can make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development and reach marginalised young people where other approaches fail.
United Purpose also plays a key role in thought leadership and influence in the growing field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), both in the UK and internationally.
We were at the forefront of establishing an SDP-focused Bond group - a forum that brings together SDP actors and increases engagement between sports-based organisations and the wider international development sector.
We actively contribute to a range of high-level SDP forums - roundtable discussions, research symposiums and seminars - both in the UK and globally. On the back of our 2015 'Sport for Development: a catalyst for change' conference (a collaboration with Wilton Park), we are currently conceiving a plan with Wilton Park for a series of SDP conferences.