Like many sectors, the sports industry has had to drastically adapt in the last year amid a worldwide economic, social and pandemic landscape unfamiliar to us all. Ardea international, in collaboration with SOAS, facilitated a round table on ‘Reimagining the role of sport’ where experts discussed the ways in which the sport sector can and should responsibly respond to its new Covid-climate as well as continue addressing already complex social issues in sport worldwide.
These conversations reimagine the future of sport. Maggie Murphy of Lewes FC challenge the ideas that the commercial profits of men’s sport will ultimately benefit the women’s game and argue that prioritising men’s professional sport is catastrophic to women’s sport.
Discussion of the role of sustainability turns to the disparity between board executives and sustainability and ethical executives, stressing the importance of the two coming to share a language. Verity Postlethwaite described the issue as one of ‘fragmented accountability’.
This critique of the way we think about sport and the structures that govern it is developed by Oliver Dudfield of the Commonwealth Secretariat. He suggests a shift is needed away from individual success, and instead governing bodies should consider the impacts on broader communities. Crucially, minority athletes are subjected to discrimination at a local, as well as elite, level. This opportunity to call for a greater voice needs to be taken at all levels in order to drive change and have sport contribute to responsible and fair action.
Roundtable Participants on the day
- Colleen Theron, CEO Ardea International
- Simon Rofe, SOAS University of London
- Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff, SOAS University of London
- Gabriel Ajala, Africa Sports United
- Oliver Dudfield, Commonwealth Secretariat
- Brianna Salvatore Dueck, Nielsen Sports
- Tim Greenwell, Southampton Football Club
- Thomas Hansen, FIFA World Cut Qatar 2022
- Simon Lansley, ConnectSport
- Brian P. McCullough, Texas A&M University
- Maggie Murphy, Lewes FC
- Verity Postlethwaite, Research Consultant
- Gavin Price, Research Consultant
- Preeti Shetty, The Football Foundation
- Richard Valder-Davis, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
- Matthew Barrett, Goal Click
- Jacob Loose, Ardea International
You can listen to these discussions below
Global Sport in a Hyper-local World
Sustainability in Sport