September 27, 2019
This Wednesday, gave the opening session of the SDG Action Zone at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). On the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Beyond Sport, along with high-level decision makers in the sport industry shared commitments and actions on how to use sport to address key SDGs.
The SDG Action Zone, held during the High-level UNGA week, is a space to break out and engage partners for transformative SDG action in new and innovative ways.
The insights shared on Wednesday were formulated this month during Beyond Sport House, where senior level executives came together around ‘10Roundtables’ to think beyond individual organizational goals and challenges to generate solutions to advance 10 of the SDGs where sport has the greatest potential for collective impact.
Founder and President of Beyond Sport, Nick Keller, kicked off the morning session with a call to better integrate sports across the UN cluster and into the SDGs. “There’s no better way to engage youth, or to reach business, than through sport. Both are vital to the SDGs,” Keller said.
Following Keller’s opening remarks, a panel comprising of leaders across the sports sector shared their insights on using sport to address key issues affecting our planet.
Kevin Martinez, VP Corporate Citizenship, ESPN; Alyssa Chassman, Founder and Executive Director, Unite 2030; Kwame King, Young Leader, NYCFC; Ashleigh Huffman, Global Director of Gender Equality, Athletes for Hope; and Ana Arizabaleta, Spirit of Soccer comprised the engaging panel.
The session closed with a one-on-one chat with Environmental Advocate and Former NFL Pro-Bowler, Ovie Mughelli, who put forward the case for why athletes should be using their voice on climate issues. “Athletes need clean air to play our sport, we need clean water to play our sport. We should be at the table solving climate change,” Mughelli said.
You can watch the session in full below: