14 August 2017

Beyond Sport United brings together the most influential social innovators in sport with global leaders to address and direct sports’ role in driving positive social change.

From 26th-27th of July, over 50 teams and leagues from the U.S. and around the world joined brands, global development organisations, grassroots practitioners, activists, and international sports governing bodies to explore the role of sport in the present challenging socio-political landscape.


Over the two-day event in New York City, the assembled innovators explored approaches from campaigning, to lobbying, to taking action on the ground, looking at what can sports teams, leagues, and their partners do to make a difference in the social issues they care about.


In true football3 style, streetfootballworld pitched in for three parts of this year’s Beyond Sport United agenda participating in a panel discussion, facilitating a workshop on a brand new project, and being shortlisted for one of the Beyond Sport Global Awards.  




At the opening discussion Natalia León, streetfootballworld’s Regional Manager for Latin America joined Anthony Signorelli, SVP, Strategic Partnerships, The Advertising Council, Will Lewis, CEO Dow Jones & Company and Rob Shepardson, Co-Founder and Partner, SS+K to set the scene for  the day around movements, activism and advocacy.


As the shortlist representative for the Peace and Reconciliation project nominated for Beyond Sport’s “Sport for Peace and Social Justice Award” and with her background in social activism, León provided an on-the-ground perspective on the delivery of grassroots programming to tackle issues of social justice in Colombia and beyond.




The following day, Natalia León teamed up with her colleague Lilli Barrett-O’Keefe, Network Manager USA, to host a workshop titled “Developing inclusive campaigns around LGBTQ through sport.” The session highlighted streetfootballworld’s new initiative, “Proud2Play2,” a project aimed at equipping football-based youth development organisations, who work in underserved communities, with the knowledge, skills and tools to create safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ youth.


We believe it takes a team to win a game. streetfootballworld’s Proud2Play project team has convened the most influential change-agents in the world of LGBTQ activism, youth development, and football for good. Athlete Ally, Grassroot Soccer and America SCORES joined streetfootballworld at Beyond Sport to facilitate a thought-provoking session on our mutual venture.


At the workshop, the Proud2Play team outlined the project’s three phases, (1) developing a comprehensive, evidence-based toolkit, (2) establishing ‘knowledge hubs’ to train football coaches to disseminate the toolkit at a community level and (3) creating an online platform for global dissemination within the streetfootballworld network (123 organisations in 80 countries, 37000 staff and volunteers, reaching more than 2 million youth annually) and the international football & LGBTQ community. Proud2Play will present the real-life stories of prominent athletes and young LGBT people form around the country. The project will release a series of short films featuring celebrity athletes to support the digital toolkit and online platform.




At this year’s Beyond Sport Global Awards streetfootballworld, together with their network members and affiliates were nominated for five different awards in four categories! Though streetfootballworld’s already award-winning project “Football for Peace & Reconciliation”, that unites former FARC rebels and victims in Columbia, was shortlisted, but couldn’t add another prize to the list, we are happy to announce that USA-Based Network Member, Soccer in the Streets USA, won the “Sport for Innovation and Tech Award” for their “Station Soccer” initiative.  In addition, two Network Affiliates were awarded: Women Win won the “Global Impact of the Year” and love.futbol brought home the “Best Corporate Campaign in Sport for Good” through their partnership with Unilever.


Congratulations to all of the winners! What a festive way to end two days of exchange between “teammates” on the sports for development playing field. 

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