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Blog: Reflections on New York and our victory at the Beyond Sport Awards

Blog by Justin Coleman, Director of Operations and Secretariat for the National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime.

TrophyIt’s now three weeks since NASDC Co-Founder James Mapstone and I returned from New York. Our Beyond Sport Global Award for Best Partnership or Collaboration is now sitting proudly on our office desk.

With over 250 entries from 70 countries covering 40 sports and 37 shortlisted finalists, being named as one of the event‘s 11 winners is an outstanding achievement and an extremely proud moment.

The award shows that, in just two years, the NASDC has been effective in helping the Sport for Development sector drive social change across the UK and beyond. The Alliance’s powerful and holistic ethos is bringing together government departments and social change experts to make a real difference.

This award, and the global recognition it brings, is thanks to the NASDC team, its Steering Group, Positive Action Groups and every single NASDC member. Together, we are driving the Sport for Development movement and building momentum to kick crime into touch.

The awards, now in their ninth year, had the theme of The Global Goals for Sustainable Development and our award related specifically to Sustainable Development Goal 17 – Partnership for the Goals. (You can read more about the Global Goals here.)

Whilst travelling to New York, we sincerely had no idea that we had won or were even in the running, such was the quality of shortlisted organisations.

Beyond Sport UnitedBefore the ceremony there were a variety of proactive meetings and events. James attended the 10Round Table event, while I took part in the Community Action Zone (pictured right). To be sharing, learning, networking and contributing to the global movement is a motivational experience that enhances thinking and leaves a legacy of action. These events have led to contact with some of the world’s best social reforming influences, which will add knowledge and experience to the Alliance’s drive for social change here in the UK.

On to the awards evening at the hugely impressive One World Observatory and we were whisked up 102 floors in less than 30 seconds in a lift that displays the growth of New York since the early 1900s. The door opened and we brushed past four-time world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, before being struck by the clarity of the Big Apple’s landscape from above – an experience not to be forgotten.

After meeting old friends and networking with some amazing people, we were asked to take our seats and it was at this point the nerves and excitement kicked in. One after another, award winners were announced and took to the stage; then it was our category.

Scotty Lee and Navjeet Sira, former award winners and outstanding people, took to the stage to present the award. Still believing we didn’t stand a chance of winning, we kept reminding ourselves that just being here was an achievement in itself, but then the winner’s name was read aloud: “The National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime.”

Prize-givingJames made his way up to the stage, while I stood in shock. He spoke briefly about the Alliance and how the award was for all involved, saying we are a united force, we get things done and we will continue to do so! We both felt 102 floors + 10 feet tall!

We are still talking through the support and awards package that accompanies the prize with Beyond Sport and will ensure the £10,000 impacts on the members and further advances the NASDC’s vision.

The award and the events over an amazing three days made us even more connected to a global resource and a truly humbling movement. To be acknowledged as the leading example among global collaborations and partnerships is an amazing achievement for every person, organisation and service user within the NASDC’s reach and influence.

We are now determined to capitalise on this recognition for the sustainability of the NASDC’s movement against the complex and negative impact crime holds within our societies.

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Please feel free to read through our brochure ‘Two Years Strong’ which we distributed to delegates at the Beyond Sport Awards.

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