Business of Sport

Tony Blair to attend CT summit

2011-08-03 07:05
Tony Blair
London - Beyond Sport has announced that former British Prime Minister and the chairman of the Beyond Sport ambassadors, Tony Blair, will be attending the Beyond Sport Summit 2011, taking place in Cape Town from December 5-8.

At the third annual gathering of its kind, the former British Prime Minister will join an array of high-profile leaders from international sports federations, corporate companies, global aid organisations, and social philanthropy at the summit, helping to build on the continuing evolution of the Beyond Sport network and its mission to celebrate and support the use of sport as a vehicle for positive social change.

In office Tony Blair was a consistent advocate for the positive role sport can play in public policy and played a leading role in the UK's bid for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since leaving Downing Street, he has also launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which will increase participation in sport by young people, particularly those who are currently socially excluded - by enabling more adults to become trained coaches and by helping to match coaches with the schools and sports clubs which need them.

Commented Mr. Blair: “No country has seen the immense power of sport and its ability to bind people together more than the Rainbow Nation - from the Springboks in 1995 to the Vuvuzelas in 2010. This global gathering in Cape Town takes Beyond Sport to the very heart of sport and development and we are absolutely delighted to have Archbishop Desmond Tutu as our patron. The work Beyond Sport does in bringing together the people at the forefront of this movement not only highlights the substantial benefits of such initiatives and the transformative influence they can have but also encourages others to act. I'm really looking forward to meeting many of these remarkable individuals at the summit in December.”

Archbishop Tutu, official patron said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the power sport can have on communities and to see so many people in one room talking about they can use this power for good was a humbling moment. Beyond Sport can achieve great things."

Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport: “The passionate advocacy of our chairman Tony Blair and our patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu demonstrates that the most experienced of world statesmen recognise the significant role sport has to play in vital development issues.”

The Beyond Sport ambassadors bring their unique experiences and visions to the Beyond Sport initiative and offer their input during the final judging process for the Beyond Sport Awards which provides a package of business support to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities. Ambassdors include the multi-Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson and Dame Kelly Holmes; Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012; Lucas Radebe, former Bafana Bafana captain; and two-time Women’s World Cup winner and former president of the Women’s Sport Foundation, Julie Foudy.

Lucas Radebe, Beyond Sport ambassador commented: “Growing up in Soweto, I witnessed first-hand how effective sport can be in making a difference in young people’s lives. I have now seen the impact sport can have on a global scale. As a Beyond Sport ambassador, I have attended the global summits in London and in Chicago, and am extremely thrilled to again be a part of this inspirational gathering, this time in my home country, when Beyond Sport comes to Cape Town in December.”

The four days of the Summit 2011 will use a unique combination of networking opportunities, insightful panels, and action-led working sessions to collide those who use sport as a vehicle to create social impact, with influencers from the world of business, government and federations whose attitudes and decisions can have substantial impact.

Once again representatives from all of the shortlisted Beyond Sport Awards 2011 projects across the world will be brought to the summit in Cape Town to share their insights and best practices from the front line of the sport and development.

Having celebrated the best sport and development projects from across the world in 2009 and 2010, the Beyond Sport Awards 2011 opened for entries once again in January this year with the winners to be announced at the summit in December. The Awards shortlist was unveiled in early June, selected from close to 400 projects covering more than 150 countries.

Those wishing to attend can register their place at

Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME International and UNICEF.


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