Two of the worldâ€™s most iconic athletes will take to the stage together at the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town in December to address the issue of sport as a tool for social change.
Oscar Pistorius, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist and one of South Africaâ€™s most high-profile athletes, will address the most impressive gathering in the history of sport and development alongside Michael Johnson, the Olympic legend, world-record holder and Beyond Sport Ambassador.
Johnson and Pistorius, who between them have won a total of 16 Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship gold medals, will discuss the role sport has played in breaking barriers in their own lives, and how they can teach that to the next generation as part of the Beyond Sport Summit, to be held in Cape Town between Monday 5th and Thursday 8th December.
Sportâ€™s role as a tool for social inclusion is particularly topical for Paralympic champion Pistorius, who has faced a long-running battle to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympic Games. In July the double-amputee ran the qualifying time for the Olympic Games, but this week SASCOC insisted he would have to repeat that performance in the three months before the Games to have any chance of competing.
Oscar Pistorius said: “I am delighted that the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards are coming to South Africa, and I look forward in taking part. The chance to share a stage with a legend like Michael Johnson and consider what sport can do to inspire youth, to increase social inclusion and to help drive social change is a particularly exciting opportunity. I expect the Summit to inspire us all to do more in this field in South Africa and across the world.”
Alongside Pistorius and Johnson, confirmed speakers at the Beyond Sport Summit include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former South Africa national football captain Lucas Radebe, and a host of other star names from South African and international sport, politics and business, as well as representatives from English football clubs Manchester City and Liverpool, the NFLâ€™s Philadelphia Eagles and the NBAâ€™s Memphis Grizzlies â€“ the four teams nominated for Beyond Sport Team of the Year.
Over 300 executives from some of the world’s top companies, including Sony Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, StubHub, Barclays and more have also confirmed their attendance. Throughout the week, the Beyond Sport Summit will use a combination of networking opportunities, insightful panels, and action-led working sessions to bring together those who use sport as a vehicle to create social impact with influential figures from the worlds of business, government and federations, whose attitudes and decisions can have substantial impact in the field.
The Beyond Sport Summit will also see the winners of the Beyond Sport Awards announced. 35 projects have been shortlisted, covering 18 countries and 22 different sports. They were chosen from close to 400 entries from more than 125 countries that submitted applications to this yearâ€™s Awards. The Beyond Sport Award winners will receive a substantial package of business support to help them grow and become sustainable in the future.
Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME Inc and UNICEF.
For the full programme of the 2011 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards, or for more information on Beyond Sport, visit www.beyondsport.org.