The 10th edition of the Beyond Sport Global Awards saw grassroots organizations, brands, sports teams, leagues and athletes gather at the One World Observatory atop One World Trade for the Beyond Sport Global Awards. In its anniversary year, Beyond Sport celebrated bold, innovative and courageous projects and individuals who are using sport to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality.
Selected from 400 entries covering more than 50 sports, the 2018 official shortlisters represented the most diverse range of sports, countries and social issues received by the organization to date. 12 awards were handed out on the inspirational night in a celebration of how sport can help tackle some of the most pressing social issues in the world today.
"On behalf of the Beyond Sport Foundation and our judges, congratulations to our brilliant and bold award winners. It’s been a remarkable year with innovation and courage mixing in equal quantities. We are not only grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to promote sport through our Global Awards, but also to continue to bring like-minded people together as resources for each other and to share ways that sport can advance a more peaceful and sustainable society,” said Nick Keller, Founder and President, Beyond Sport.
Shortisters were joined by a world class line up of presenters, including NBA Hall of Famer, Dikembe Mutombo, Olympic Medalist, Jenny Simpson, NYC FC’s Brad Stuver, Wheelchair basketball legend, Patrick Anderson, WWE Superstar Sonya Deville and 5-time FIFA World Cup Coach, Bora Milutinović among others.
MLB’s Billy Bean presented the first award of the night, the Sport for Equality Award, to Terres en Mêlées (France, Togo, Burkina-Faso, Morocco, Madagascar, Cambodia). Their Rugby for the Emancipation of Young Girls project works to improve the living conditions of young girls on a physical and psychological level. An amazing 27,000 girls are benefitting from its sports curriculum.
The Women Economic Empowerment Through Sport Tourism project from 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking (Nepal) took home the Sport for Quality Education and Employment Award, supported by SAP. The program teaches women from poor, remote regions in the Himalayas trekking and guiding skills allowing them to become self-sufficient. Over 2000 women have completed the training.
New this year, was the Sport for Refugees Award, supported by Generation Amazing. The award went to Reclaim Childhood for its Connecting Refugee and Local Jordanian Women Through Sport project. The organization brings refugee and Jordanian girls together on the playing field by training Syrian, Iraqi, Sudanese, Palestinian, Somali, Egyptian and local Jordanian coaches to lead their own sports teams and work together towards community resilience
Past Beyond Sport Global Award winner, Dikembe Mutombo awarded Spirit of Soccer with theSport for Peace and Social Justice Award for its Countering Violent Extremism in Iraq project. Quoting Nelson Mandela, he noted, “sport has the power to change the world for good.” He went on to say, “even if you are not a winner tonight, you are a winner. Congratulations to all the shortlisters.”
Keke Lehana received the Courageous Use of Sport Award, supported by WWE and presented by Titus O’Neil and Sonya Deville. As a coachwith training4changeS, Keke mentors and supports young people in sport, education and the intricacies of life in South African townships. The extreme difficulties and trauma that he faced as a child helped forge him in to the role model he has become today.
The Global Impact of the Year Award went to Coaches Across Continents. The organization was one of the first ever winners of a Beyond Sport Global Award and are also celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. The organization impacts millions of children from diverse backgrounds and 10 of the UN SDGs through its sport for social impact partnerships with governments, foundations, corporations and community-based organizations in over 50 countries.
Other winners included: Shooting Touch (Rwanda) whose Basketball Health Corps program picked up the Sport for Health and Well-being Award; NHL Green which won the Sport for Climate Action Award (USA and Canada); GAME (Lebanon) whose Looking for a Place to Dream project won the Sport for Innovation and Tech Award; Fundación Fútbol Más (Chile) which took home the Sport for Sustainable Cities & Communities Award.
Best Partnership or Collaboration in Sport For Good went to Positive Tracks for its Sweat for Good project, while Volvo Ocean Race picked up the Best Corporate Campaign or Initiative in Sport for Good for its Clean Seas – ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ project.
Since 2008, the Beyond Sport Foundation has supported 200+ organizations worldwide, providing $1.5M+ in funds, and distributing $8 million+ worth of long-term strategic support.
Full List of Winners
Sport for Health and Well-being Award
- Basketball Health Corps - Shooting Touch Rwanda
Sport for Quality Education and Employment Award, supported by SAP
- Women Economic Empowerment Through Sport Tourism - 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking Nepal
Sport for Equality Award
- Rugby for the Emancipation of Young Girls - Terres en Mêlées France, Togo, Burkina-Faso, Morocco, Madagascar, Cambodia
Sport for Innovation and Tech Award
- Looking for a Place to Dream - GAME Lebanon
Sport for Peace and Social Justice Award
- Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Iraq - Spirit of Soccer Iraq
Best Partnership or Collaboration in Sport for Good Award
- Sweat For Good - Positive Tracks USA
Sport for Climate Action Award
- NHL Green USA, Canada
Sport for Sustainable Cities & Communities Award
- Fútbol Más Barrios – Fundación Fútbol Más Chile
Best Corporate Campaign or Initiative in Sport for Good
- Clean Seas - "Turn The Tide On Plastic" - Volvo Ocean Race
Global Impact of the Year
- Coaches Across Continents
Courageous Use of Sport, supported by WWE
- Keke Lehana - Coach, training4changeS
Sport for Refugees Award, supported by Generation Amazing
- Connecting Refugee and Local Jordanian Women Through Sport by Reclaim Childhood
The Beyond Sport Global Awards were made possible by Official Supporters, Comic Relief, ESPN, Chivas Regal, Swedish Postcode Foundation and Xiaomi; Award Category Partners, WWE, Generation Amazing and SAP; and Host Partner, Legends. Business support packages were provided by Upshot, GivenGain, TrustLaw, YouTube, Lottery.com, the George Washington University Sport Philanthropy Certificate Program and Lottery.com.