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Alliance of Sport throws weight behind #IDSDP2018

Today (Friday April 6) marks the UN’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (#IDSDP2018) and at the Alliance of Sport we wholeheartedly support the ethos and values of this celebration.

We passionately believe in the power of sport to engage the most complex and challenging people in society. That’s why we are taking a central role – both in the UK and internationally – in convening key stakeholders and providing leadership, coordination and evidence for the power of sport and the desistance of from crime. 

We want to embed sport at the heart of policy and practice in both the prevention of, and rehabilitation from crime. 

By building an evidence base, developing best practice, lobbying for increased investment and supporting learning and collaboration we are uniting the sector, maximising its impact and raising the profile of Sport for Development. 

Our work was recognised on the international stage last year when we won a Beyond Sport global award for ‘Best Partnership or Collaboration’ at a glittering ceremony in New York.  


Just a couple of examples of where we have achieved tangible impact on an international scale since we were founded in 2016: 

  • We delivered training and extensive consultation with staff at the M-Powered project in Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland, helping them maximise their impact delivering martial arts and mentoring programmes to troubled young people in a city blighted by sectarianism, violence and crime. 
  • Collaboration is a key part of our role and we forged a connection between two of our members, ex-offender LJ Flanders and Mario Raimondi, founder of a non-profit organisation tackling child poverty in Rosario. LJ later visited Mario and spoke to 3,000 delegates at a conference in Argentina about his journey, providing inspiration for potential development of the Argentinian youth justice system using sport and physical activity.

Our Steering Group has representatives of Unicef and the Commonwealth Secretariat, so our influence spreads way beyond the confines of England and Wales. 

Our Ambassador John McAvoy, whose life of serious crime was turned around by sport, embodies the journey we believe is possible for anyone involved in offending behaviour. 

“My story shows that anything is possible for anyone, no matter how deeply entrenched their damaging patterns of behaviour may be,” he says. “My life was changed through sport, and the Alliance of Sport’s ultimate aim is that everyone gets the same opportunities that I did to turn their lives around.” 

We wish to lead a unified effort to use sport to tackle crime. We should celebrate the success of everyone working in this area, which is why we are delighted that the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (#IDSDP2018) throws light on sport’s power to achieve a wealth of positive outcomes and build a stronger society for all. 


(Pic credit: Anfield Boxing Club)

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