One Year Anniversary: Celebrating Success & Looking to the Future

First Global Conference on Faith & Sport

October marked the one-year anniversary of the First Global Conference on Faith and Sport – and what a momentous year it was! Since the launch of Sport for Humanity last October, we have collaborated with a number of organizations to generate awareness, begin to affect change, and grow and strengthen the movement.

At the First Regional Conference on Faith & Sport that took place at Villanova University in June, we discussed with higher education leaders how we can better prepare young people to meet life’s challenges through faith, spirituality and sports in colleges and universities.

At a Youth Leadership Workshop in Muskoka Woods, Canada, we connected with teens ages 15 to 17 who provided us with ideas on how to make the movement relevant to youth.

At the Via Pacis Half Marathon that took place in Rome in September, we engaged with the community to take a unified stand against racism and discrimination.

We are also encouraged by the number of major sport organizations such as FC Barcelona and the National Hockey League who have been inspired to engage their own constituents and launch their own initiatives that align with the Sport for Humanity vision and values.

While each one of these events was unique in audience and format, they were consistent in their messages of Inclusion, Involvement and Inspiration, and their foundation in the SSH Principles.

These incredible events could not have been made possible without the support of dedicated organizations and individuals who believe in the SSH Movement and are committed to bringing the Principles to life within their organizations and communities. One such organization is SSH Founding Partner, Allianz, who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the engagement and outreach of youth through their support of the Humanity Sports Club.

Commitment to Youth

As we look ahead to what year-two of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Movement has in store, we are honored to announce that Allianz, our Founding Partner, has extended their commitment for another year.

As part of this renewed commitment, Allianz is developing a digital portal under the Humanity Sports Club brand that will use online sport-related and skill-based games to connect with youth and to deliver content that educates and promotes engagement around the six SSH Principles.

The decision to invest in this initiative is driven by the knowledge that youth participation in sports is no longer confined to the sports field, but has also extended to the world of e-sport, online and mobile gaming. The massive popularity of sports-based gaming presents an opportunity to reach a very large youth audience across geographical and cultural borders.

“The Humanity Sports Club games portal will be an excellent complement to Allianz’ growing portfolio of innovative sport partnerships and initiatives, including Formula E and the Drone Racing League,” said Christian Deuringer, Head of Global Brand Management at Allianz. “The broad reach of e-sport, online and mobile gaming helps us bring the messages of the SSH movement to young people that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to access, and is a natural digital extension of our ‘real-world’ youth sporting initiatives such as the Allianz Junior Football Camp.”

The HSC games portal will be accessible from any browser or device, and while everyone is encouraged to play, Allianz specifically hopes to reach youth in developing countries where smartphone and gaming usage continues to grow exponentially.

The portal is scheduled to launch by the end of 2017 and will be supported by social media and youth engagement via the existing HSC Facebook page. Since signing on as the Sport at the Service of Humanity Founding Partner in April 2016, Allianz has supported HSC by building the Humanity Sports Club Facebook community to over 20,000 members. This community will now serve as a key audience for the launch of their new digital platform.

We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting initiative in the coming months.

Allianz is one of the world’s largest financial services providers, operating in over 70 countries. The SSH goal of creating a multi-cultural movement that harnesses the power of sport to encourage positive social change was well-aligned with Allianz’ corporate values of collaboration and trust. And with a long history of successful sport-related partnerships and the belief in exploring life without fear, Allianz was inspired by Pope Francis’ statement, “Challenge yourself in the game of life as you do in the game of sport.”

Future Focus
We are encouraged by the continued support and interest from individuals and organizations who share our values and vision. We are exploring a number of opportunities to expand our reach and scope to make Sport at the Service of Humanity into a truly global movement.

As we move into the second year of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Movement, we encourage all those within our network to continue to find opportunities to bring the SSH Principles to life. Whether it be through every-day interactions or through the creation of initiatives that spread the SSH message.

We thank each and every one of you who have supported us through this first year. Together we can harness the power of faith and of sport to make a real difference in the world.

“This is the moment when we can restore our faith in Faith, and belief in the values of Sport, as a metaphor for life.”