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"Sharing your work with the entire Beyond Sport Community is a gift to us all"

Former Beyond Sport Global Award Winners and Shortlisters give words of wisdom and encouragement to this year’s Shortlist and reflect on why sport is such a powerful tool to address Global Goals

November 5, 2020

From October 26 to November 6, we are highlighting the stories and work of our 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Shortlisters who are using sport to promote peaceful and inclusive societies. Today, we hear from three former Beyond Sport Global Award Winners and Shortlisters who have been working hard to address Global Goals in their communities.

Rodrigo Hubner Mendes, Founder, Instituto Rodrigo Mendes  

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Instituto Rodrigo Mendes  (IRM) were two-time Beyond Sport Global Awards Shortlisters in the Sport for Quality Education and Sport for Equality Award categories. IRM is a Brazilian non-profit organization whose mission is to collaborate so that every person with a disability has a first-rate education in a mainstream school.

Words of wisdom for this year’s Shortlist: To be selected for the Beyond Sport Global Award Shortlist for two consecutive years was a clear sign that our project “Open Doors to Inclusion” was on the right track and that our organization was reaching meaningful results through sports. Thus, to be in the shortlist of the awards was a powerful tool to raise our organization to international standards and recognition. We want to congratulate all initiatives that use the power of sport to make social change. Those initiatives have great chances of success and they inspire us to keep up with our mission to change the world into a more equal, fair and inclusive place.

Why is sport such a powerful tool in addressing the Global Goals?: Sports practices are a powerful tool for changing an individual's life. Through sports practices we develop communication, social and technical skills. Also, we can learn how to deal with our and other people's needs in a practical way. Sports are not just a fun activity, but also a pedagogical tool that contributes to the social and intellectual development of students with or without disabilities. During sports practices, students exercise group and individual skills as well as they learn about their own limits and how to overcome them.

Melanie LeGrande, VP, Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball

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Major League Baseball were 2016 Beyond Sport Global Award Shortlisters in the Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year Award. Major League Baseball is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

Words of wisdom for this year’s Shortlist: You're a standout and should be proud of the work you're doing to strengthen communities!

Why is sport such a powerful tool in addressing Global Goals?: Sport is an equalizer and brings together fans from all walks of life. The social skills learned - teamwork, determination, sportsmanship, perseverance - are incredible building blocks to being a responsible citizen and serving a greater purpose.

Chloe Rothman, Director of Programming, Shooting Touch

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Shooting Touch were 2018 Beyond Sport Global Award Winners in the Sport for Health and Well-being Category. It is a global sport-for-development organization whose mission is to use the mobilizing power of basketball to bridge opportunity gaps for youth and women of color facing racial, gender and health inequities.

Words of wisdom for this year’s Shortlist: We know that you do the work you do to help those you care so deeply about - it's not for any recognition or award. With that being said, however, showcasing your hard work and compassion can motivate an entire generation of people to follow your footsteps and do the same. Sharing your work with the entire Beyond Sport Community is a gift to all of us so thank you for your efforts and allowing them to not go unnoticed.

Why is sport such a powerful tool in addressing Global Goals?: Aside from the organic/natural gains from sport participation, sport is a bridge to numerous learnings and experiences, which help in navigating through life. It can be a segue for youth to delve into deep discussion about mental health, a platform for different ethnicities or religions or backgrounds to work together in reaching a common goal, or a catalyst in economic development for oppressed women and girls. We love sport!

Learn more about  this year’s Shortlist and follow their journeys at


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Using sport to change the game for people existing on the margins of an already marginalized population