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The Community Award, in partnership with Facebook, identifies and celebrates an organisation or group using sport to impact the local community. This year we received an incredible number of entries from over 15 countries. Our judges have chosen five entries to highlight that are doing exceptional work through sport and creating lasting impact in their community.
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was the biggest sports and humanitarian event of 2019 and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East and Africa. With 200 nations, 7,069 athletes and 1,429 coaches taking part, it was also the largest and most unified World Games in the 50-year history of Special Olympics. For 22 nations, it was their first time to participate in a Special Olympics event, while five further countries attended as observers. The Abu Dhabi World Games broke other records too, with the highest number of female participants, including, for the first time, female athletes from Saudi Arabia. Thanks to the outreach efforts of UAE, the Special Olympics family now has more member countries than the United Nations.
49ers EDU is a four-part field trip for students in the community, that includes a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics lesson, exploration of the 49ers Museum, a stadium tour, and a movement lab – all leveraging football as a platform to connect, inspire, and engage each student. The programming is aligned to 21st Century Learning Skills which incorporate critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Each day throughout the academic year, 300+ children are at Levi’s Stadium experiencing 49ers EDU – at no cost to the students or school. 49ers EDU’s success has incited interest around sport and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) around the globe. In 2018, the 49ers announced a ground-breaking STEAM education alliance with The Chelsea Foundation – Chelsea Football Club’s charity arm – to grow the impact of each organization’s commitment to youth education opportunities.
Super League and RFL partnered with social care charity, Community Integrated Care, to create a ground-breaking inclusive sports programme for people with learning disabilities & autism. This is the world’s first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme. The Learning Disability Super League was launched at Old Trafford stadium in February 2019, by hosts of Sky Sports and major rugby league stars, who have a personal connection with the cause and have signed up as ambassadors. It attracted unprecedented media attention, with promotional videos for the concept topping 300,000 views, national media coverage that reached around 5 million people, & social media engagement from roughly 600,000 people in its first week.
Arsenal and Save the Children have partnered up to co-create a ground-breaking programme, aimed at building resilience and mental wellbeing with children in under-served communities. Coaching for Life has launched in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan and the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia on pitches funded by The Arsenal Foundation, testing the programme’s impact in both a development and humanitarian setting. The programme has benefitted 4,500 children so far over 3 years including a 50/50 split between boys and girls.
Common Goal is a pledge based philanthropic movement that encourages professional football players, managers, officials, fans and businesses to donate a minimum of 1% of their earnings to a shared fund which supports Non-Government Organisations that use football to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Since its public launch in August 2017, Common Goal has raised over one million dollars in pledge proceeds and supported the work of 37 high-impact football charities with a combined reach of over 700,000 youths, in support of advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work & Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities and Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions.