New ‘sport for social change’ category at SJA 2018 British Sports Awards

The Sports Journalists’ Association is to introduce a ‘Sport for Social Change’ category at the SJA 2018 British Sports Awards, sponsored by the National Lottery.

The award – created in conjunction with ConnectSport and the Sport for Development Coalition, and supported by Oaks – aims to highlight the amazing work of organisations across the UK which are using sport and/or physical activity to create a positive impact on local communities and individuals in need. These can be nationwide, or at local, grassroots level.

It recognises the growing the influence of the Sport for Development sector, which encompasses professional club foundations, charities, sports governing bodies, public sector and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

These organisations are tackling a wide range of important social issues such as crime and unemployment, physical and mental health and wellbeing, social exclusion and loneliness, inequality and discrimination.

Organisations, both inside and outside of sport, are now being invited to submit their applications for the new award, which will be judged by a panel of experts on the following criteria:

  •      Impact and reach
  •      Scale and difficulty of the issue being tackled
  •      Longevity and sustainability of the project
  •      Resourcefulness and dedication of staff, coaches and volunteers
  •      Innovation and/or collaboration
  •      Monitoring and evaluation, including clarity and transparency around impact reporting

Applicants must provide an overview of no more than 300 words describing their project or ongoing work, plus a 200-word case study demonstrating the impact of the programme on an individual or community.

To enter, complete this online form no later than 5pm on Thursday 1 November. Make sure you include the name of the project and/or organisation and provide contact details, including name of contact, telephone, email, website and (if available) Twitter.

During the build-up to the awards, selected applications will be profiled on the ConnectSport website with a shortlist announced on Thursday 8 November. Shortlisted organisations will be invited to the event, sponsored by the National Lottery,  at The Pavilion at The Tower of London on Thursday 6 December between noon and 4pm, and the winner will receive a business support package from Oaks, the official sponsor of the Sport for Social Change award.

ConnectSport is the official media partner of the Sport for Development Coalition, which is a group of around 60 organisations focused on using sport for social development. It is supported by Comic Relief, Sport England and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Award sponsor

Oaks provide business planning and income generation support for several of the nation’s leading Sport for Development charities including Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the West Ham United Foundation, the Tennis Foundation, and many other award-winning interventions using sport as a tool for social change. In the last 12 months alone Oaks have secured just over £12million for their clients – supporting a group of socially-minded organisations to grow their work, reach more vulnerable people, and ultimately change lives through sport. Read more at