On one of the premier stages celebrating the powerful impact of sport around the world, a partnership of the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society has been honored with a Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award at ESPN’s 2018 Sports Humanitarian Awards.
“We are truly honored to receive one of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards, and appreciate so much our partnership with the US Department of State and espnW that made it possible,” said Sarah Hillyer, director of the CSPS. “Together and alongside brave and courageous women from all over the world, we are fulfilling our dream of leveraging the unique power of sport-based innovation to create a more equitable world for women and girls.”
The Global Sports Mentoring Program has been implemented by CSPS since its inception in 2012. The initiative has trained 99 international sports leaders from 55 countries during its gender-equality exchange programs. In addition to training participants in the CSPS Better World curriculum, the center has partnered these leaders with female executive mentors at top organizations such as ESPN, Google, NHL, Big East Conference, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
“Those 99 women went on to directly impact more than 225,000 lives,” said Hillyer when accepting the award. “That is the true power of sport.”
The award is named for Stuart Scott, a longtime ESPN sportscaster who died of cancer in 2015, and celebrates people who have taken risk and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports.
“The collective impact that this year’s Sports Humanitarian Award nominees have made in their communities is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship.
Hillyer traveled to Los Angeles to accept the award along with three GSMP alumnae who returned to the United States for the ceremony: Geraldine Bernardo, founder of the Sport Management Council of the Philippines; Dima Alardah, youth project coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq; and Cynthia Coredo, program manager for Boxgirls Kenya.
“CSPS provided the impetus and wherewithal that enabled me to launch my own sport-for-development programs in my country,” said Bernardo, who after participating in the GSMP returned home to launch two initiatives aimed at supporting vulnerable communities in the Philippines: Sports for Women’s Empowerment and Employment Program (SWEEP) and RePLAY, ReLIVE and ReCREATE—Building Community Resilience through Sports for Post-Disaster and Post-Conflict Areas.
“Even years later, the center continues to connect and involve the alumnae, ensuring that the ‘sisters’ will always have a web of support and opportunities for cross engagement,” said Bernardo.
Find out more about the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society by visiting its website at sportandpeace.utk.edu.