From all of us at equitysport, we wish our supporters, donors and partners around the world a very Happy World Values Day!
Tim Harper, Executive Director at equitysport has penned a short piece on why the charity holds values and the celebration of shared values in such high esteem.
As a values-based organisation, we are always looking for ways to celebrate, promote and connect more deeply with our values. World Values Day is a perfect time to pause and reflect on what really matters to us, both as a charity, and as individuals.
At equitysport, we use our values as a guide for how we behave, the kinds of actions we take and where we stand on issues. Unsurprisingly, we hold the values of universalism and benevolence in high regard; and in one sense, our goal is simple - to see today's unequal, extractive and exclusive sporting world replaced with one where equality, diversity and equal opportunity are realised universally for as much of the world's population as possible.
Whilst sport is often quick to invoke values as rigid, inhibitory doctrines, almost always relating to work ethic, compliance or hierarchy, we believe when engaged with more deeply, and with an open mind, they offer a key to a shared sense of purpose for the future of sport.
Stark inequalities and structural inequities continue to scar the global sporting ecosystem. Too few have a real stake in how sport is structured and organised; and we know, both from the research, and anecdotally through our work, that opportunities to access and participate in sport around the world are all too often determined by your race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or your geography. Too many people around the world still face oppression, prejudice, marginalisation and discrimination through and because of sport.
As recent events in the English Premier League, at FIFA in relation to a potential biennial World Cup, systemic failings in protecting athletes from abuse the world over and with the IOC's determined stance on the host city for the upcoming Winter Olympics demonstrate, modern sport is increasingly characterised and defined by the excesses of a tiny, very powerful and very affluent ruling class.
As an evermore polarised world confronts new challenges, we must continue to protect and enshrine the uniting potential of sport by embracing and celebrating our shared values; values that transcend the divisions of the moment. Only then, can we really give power to sport as a mechanism of change in wider society.
We must recognise differences between us, but as equals, neither inferior or superior, and devise ways to use each other's difference to enrich our visions and struggle for a fairer, more equitable sporting world. With our shared values as our guide, we can identify and develop new definitions of power, resist the ongoing deferment of how we organise sport to the constructs of business, and realise new ways of relating and compromising across difference.
When we explore our values more deeply, we detach ourselves from the rollercoaster of the here and now, and allow ourselves a glimpse into a future of our making - one buoyed by optimistic idealism and uninhibited by the anchors of fatalism and realism. Our values empower us to believe we can shape our collective destiny, not fall victim to it.
As we explore, we can grow from passively consuming sport, to becoming its custodians; embracing the responsibility for creating a better, fairer, more equitable future for everyone, moulded by the collective importance we place in those shared values.
Such a future-focused outlook requires us to resist the temptation merely to offer our condemnation and damning commentary of how and where sport is failing. Instead, we must roll up our sleeves and get to work. That's not to suggest that we indulge in the kind of toxic positivity that too many of sports evangelists wallow, the kind of rhetoric that doubles as historical erasure or naivety - but that we simply prioritise building a better future, rather than weaponising our own sense of virtue to chastise others.
So, on this World Values Day, we encourage everyone and anyone with a stake or interest in sport to pause and reflect on their personal values, and how they might impact and help deliver a brighter future for us all, both in and out of sport; because it's time to reaffirm and reclaim the magic of sport. It's time to reimagine the future of sport.
Happy World Values Day!
Why not take a moment to pause and reconnect with your own values? Visit Discover Your Values HERE to take a free online assessment and make that first step to understanding your values better.
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equitysport is a UK-registered values-based international charity (1189559) that exists to advance and promote equality, diversity and equal opportunity in and through global sport. Through free-form development, targeted advocacy, vocational training and education programmes the charity seeks an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives up to the true ideals of sport.
Notes to Editors: For interviews or further comment, please contact the team via: email@example.com