Celebrating Four Years of Faith and Sport

Four years ago, Pope Francis inspired us to “Challenge yourself in the game of life, as you do in the game of sport.” Building on this fundamental belief that together, faith and sport could be a powerful force for good, Sport at the Service of Humanity was born.

In October 2016, Sport at the Service of Humanity held its first Global Conference on Faith & Sport at the Vatican, bringing together sport, faith, sport and business leaders and visionaries from around the world. Since then, Sport for Humanity has grown into a global movement that encourages us to “Live Like We Play”.

Growing the Movement

With the support of numerous global partners, the last four years have seen a number of impactful initiatives, including:

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June 2017

Regional Conference Hosted by The Big East Conference and Villanova University. This conference provided an opportunity for college/ university administrators and athletic coaches to carry forward the work started during the inaugural gathering at the Vatican.

November 2017

Sport for Humanity Foundation announced its partnership with ISPS Handa and welcomed Dr. Haruhisa Handa as its First Global Patron during a launch event at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

June 2018

Regional Conference hosted by Loyola Marymount University and LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, where leaders and practitioners from the world of faith, sport, academia and business discussed the role of faith and sport to cultivate a better world.

September 2018

Launch of the Young Leaders Mentoring Program presented by Global Patron ISPS Handa, in celebration of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since the program’s launch, our Young Leaders have demonstrated tremendous growth under the tutelage of our incredible Global Mentors and through ISPS Handa’s generous support. Together, these Young Leaders are using the power of faith and sport to make an impact around the world.

June 2019

G20 Interfaith Forum in Tokyo, Japan provided an opportunity for Sport for Humanity Young Leaders and Global Mentors to host the “Youth Promoting Values for Peace” panel discussion.

July 2019

Partnered with the NFLPA to promote RESPECT on and off the playing field through Spoken Word at youth football camps in Chicago hosted by Roy Robertson- Harris and in Houston, hosted by Ronald Ollie.

November 2019

Global Conference hosted by Georgetown University was honoured with blessings from His Holiness Pope Francis in the form of a personal message addressed to all attendees. This message set the tone for the two-day conference that focused on the power of faith and sport to inspire change, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the importance of values to act as a bridge to unite and cross divides.

September 2020

Sport for Humanity announced a strategic global partnership with Vie, Inc., a new sports and entertainment philanthropy company that integrates proprietary technology, social competition and collaborative fundraising to benefit not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) worldwide.

Exploring the Role of Faith & Sport in the New World Order

“As we look ahead to a slow and arduous recovery from the pandemic, the risk is that an even worse virus may strike us: that of a selfish indifference that forgets those who are left behind.”

– Pope Francis

In 2016, Pope Francis challenged us to harness the best of faith and sport so that we could give the best of ourselves to humanity. This year, the unprecedented challenges brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic has resulted in a complete paradigm shift in all aspects of our lives. Yet in the midst of the darkness, we have seen people reconnect with their faith, spirituality and humanity. Now, more than ever, our Sport for Humanity ethos anchored on our 3 Pillars – INSPIRATION, INCLUSION and INVOLVEMENT and our Six Principles – COMPASSION, LOVE, RESPECT, ENLIGHTENMENT, BALANCE and JOY – are no longer just abstract values, but are in full display.

As we try to navigate this new normal, we firmly believe that Faith and Sport communities, working together, have the power to bring out the best of humanity to inspire, to speak for and more importantly, to be active champions for compassion vs. indifference; tolerance vs. prejudice; peace vs. violence; unity vs. division; love vs. hate.

“Live Like You Play” Podcast Series

With this in mind, and in celebration of our fourth anniversary, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the new Sport for Humanity “Live Like You Play” podcast series.

Over the coming months, we invite you to join the BBC’s David Eades as he embarks on a series of in-depth, one-on-one conversations with faith, sport and global leaders to explore issues such as: What is the role of faith and sport in this new world order? What is the responsibility of the faith and sport leaders to society in general? How can we use the power of faith and sport to address pressing societal issues? How do we go beyond inspiration to provoking action? Watch for more information on our first episode!

Faith & Sport Leaders Council

Later this month, we will also introduce you to our newly formed Faith and Sport Leaders Council, a group of multi-faith and sport leaders who will help guide and shape our thought leadership on the role of faith and sport in society, now and moving forward.

Moving Forward Together

As we enter the fifth year of the Sport for Humanity global movement, we are eternally grateful to everyone who has supported us in our effort to harness the power of faith and sport for the betterment of humanity. We are inspired by your stories, your passion and your commitment to Live Like You Play.

Together, we will weather the crisis that the pandemic has wrought and unite us in our belief that on the other side of this is a more united, peaceful world. We send our love and blessings to you and your family that you may all be safe and healthy.

We believe that there are brighter days ahead and look forward to the time when we can all be together again without fear or anxiety. It is with this hope in our hearts that we move forward with the planning of our Global Youth Forum at the Vatican in Fall 2021. We look forward to sharing more details on this exciting initiative in the months to come!