The Premier League will take up a leading position demonstrating the power of football to change lives by backing Beyond Football at Arsenal FC’s world famous Emirates Stadium on July 24.
The Premier League, which has a long track record of developing and investing in community development, will back Beyond Football as it works to further develop the use of football as a tool for social development.
Beyond Football is being staged by Beyond Sport, the pre-eminent global organisation in the field of sport for social change, and worldwide network streetfootballworld.
Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League, says: “Beyond Sport provides a platform for the various organisations and individuals that contribute to creating social change through sport to come together and learn from one another’s skills and experiences.
“Initiatives like Premier League 4 Sport, Premier League Enterprise, Kickz and Premier Skills have shown us how, by working with the right partners, sport can make a real impact across different issues at a local and global level.
“With our position as the most popular domestic sport league in the world comes responsibility, and we and our member clubs recognise that responsibility.
“Through a range of centralised and club-based programmes, the power of football as a social engagement and participation tool positively affects our communities in a way few would have imagined 20 years ago.”
Scudamore will speak on the opening panel at Beyond Football, joining leading experts from across the game and beyond as the event seeks to provide tangible outcomes and recommendations for ways in which the world’s most popular sport can use its unique position to tackle pressing social challenges.
The one-day event, also backed by adidas, will explore how football can be used to promote education, health and crime prevention, with a strong emphasis on practical grass roots solutions.
A particular focus will be on football’s role in tackling youth unemployment - perhaps the biggest issue facing British youth at this time and an area in which all 20 Premier League clubs are active.
“The 20 Premier League clubs are involved in some absolutely cutting edge work in their communities, in some circumstances effectively fulfilling the role of social worker,” says Nick Keller, the founder of Beyond Sport.
“From youth disengagement to disability to health, there is much to learn from these institutions which, despite their position as global brands, remain absolutely entrenched at the centre of their local communities.”
Jürgen Griesbeck, founder and CEO of streetfootballworld, adds: “Football has a unique role as the world’s most popular sport, and streetfootballworld is committed to maximising its potential in the social arena.
“For 10 years we have worked to strengthen a global network of community organisations and connect them to influential partners - with tangible results.
“We are delighted to once again be working with Beyond Sport and we look forward to further developing the field of sport for social change at Beyond Football.”
Beyond Football is being staged as part of the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards, a three-day collision of leading figures from sport, development, business and politics being staged in London just days ahead of the Olympic Games.
Speakers at Beyond Sport will include The Rt Hon Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and chairman of the Beyond Sport Ambassadors; Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays; Jamie Oliver, the world renowned chef and campaigner; Olympic gold medallists and Beyond Sport Ambassadors Michael Johnson and Bob Beamon; Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, the most successful Paralympian of all time; and John Amaechi OBE, the NBA legend and political activist.
The inaugural edition of Beyond Football, held in 2011 as part of the Beyond Sport Summit in Cape Town, focused on creating the ‘perfect partnership’ between investors and practitioners, building the ideal team to create social impact worldwide.
It brought together inspirational players such as former South African captain Lucas Radebe with teams, leagues, NGOs and stakeholders from around the world.