College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Commonwealth event spotlights power of sport

A team of experts from Edinburgh are supporting an initiative to promote the role of sport in addressing some of society’s biggest challenges.

Girl playing volleyball

The power of compassion in sport in supporting the health and wellbeing of people and the planet is being explored at an event marking the 2023 International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The debate is being hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat – which supports member countries to achieve the Commonwealth's aims of development, democracy and peace – and the University of Edinburgh at Marlborough House in London on 4 April.

Policy experts

The event will offer a platform for a stellar line up of speakers including policy experts and scholars to take part in conversations examining key issues impacting sports across the Commonwealth’s 56 countries.

Organisers say The 7th annual Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development will be among the leading policy-focused activities to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, celebrated on 6 April each year.

Commonwealth experts in two high-profile panels will debate the proposition that: ‘A compassionate sports sector should enable the charge for a healthy mind, body and planet’.

Promoting partnerships

The debate will enable conversations around the use of sports to help address climate change, and how sports can play a leading role in tackling physical and mental health issues across the Commonwealth.

The debate will be introduced by Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of The Commonwealth, Dr the Hon Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Jamaica and Professor Liz Grant, Director of the Global Health Academy at The University of Edinburgh.

Other speakers include Anne Wafula Strike MBE, Secretary-General’s Champion for Equality in Sport, Mxolisi Sibanda, Adviser, Climate Change, Commonwealth Secretariat and Katie Sadleir, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Games Federation.

Professor Grant Jarvie, Director (Academy of Sport) and Chair of Sport, at Moray House School of Education and Sport is Chairing the event.

Dr Walker Ross and Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh and Professor Corinne Reid, Professorial Fellow with the Global Health Academy and the Academy of Sport are also contributing their expertise to the debate.

We are honoured to be invited to partner the Commonwealth Secretariat in supporting this international debate which will amplify advocacy efforts and increase recognition of the contribution sport can make to some of society’s most pressing issues. Our research has highlighted it is clearer than ever that sport has the potential to be a powerful platform for addressing broad issues through its unique scale, reach and being a pillar of connectivity in and across communities.

Professor Grant JarvieMoray House School of Education and Sport

The debate – at 2pm on Tuesday 4 April – will be live streamed via a live video link which is free and open to the public. 

Register for the event 

Academy of Sport

Moray House School of Education and Sport

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