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05 Apr 2022 135

‘Open Goal’ campaign launch

UK Coaching will mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on April 6th by supporting the launch of the ‘Open Goal’ campaign

Open Goal has been created by UK Coaching and fellow members of the Sport for Development Coalition to showcase how sport and physical activity can contribute to building a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future.

In particular, it will focus on how the 200-plus members of the Coalition specifically support a series of positive health and societal outcomes such as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and building stronger communities and social cohesion in the wake of Covid-19.

IDSDP takes place each year on 6 April and, according to the United Nations, presents “an opportunity to recognise the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe”. It is certain to resonate strongly in 2022 because of current conflict around the globe, and in the wake of Covid-19.

First and foremost, Open Goal will see the Coalition call on UK Government to ringfence funding committed for jobs, health and tackling crime towards targeted sport-based interventions that can save public money and generate multiple returns on investment, from improving the physical and mental health of individuals facing disadvantage and discrimination, to increasing educational attainment and the ability to secure employment.

This will support the Government’s recently-launched ‘Levelling Up’ agenda which outlined 12 ‘Missions’ to be achieved by 2030, eight of which Coalition members are directly contributing to.

Mark Gannon, CEO at UK Coaching, said:

Great coaching through physical activity and sport not only has the power to make the nation happier and healthier, it also breaks down social differences and helps to build friendships and unity within communities. In turn, this can play a crucial role in tackling issues such as loneliness, anti-social behaviour and crime. The ‘Open Goal’ campaign is an opportunity to convey these values on a global scale, and we are very excited to see the changes it will bring.”

Open Goal will also see the Coalition work with its partners across multiple sectors, for example by supporting the charity Made by Sport’s aim to secure more private sector and corporate investment into targeted programmes tackling the social issues faced by young people in communities across the UK. Made by Sport is an official partner of the Coalition.

Finally Open Goal will also seek to champion sport’s role in tackling inequalities and building a fairer society through national and local media, helping to amplify the business case for scaled investment in targeted sport and physical activity-based interventions.

To find out more, follow @SFDCoalition #OpenGoal on Twitter or visit sportfordevelopmentcoalition.org

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