Sustainability is often discussed in the context of balancing economic, social and environmental considerations. The global sport sector has been valued in excess of US$500billion per annum, approaching 1% of global GDP. The social benefits of sport for individual health and fitness and social cohesion are well documented and have been recognised in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meanwhile, sport has a two-way relationship with the environment; for example, changing and increasingly extreme weather is causing more disruption and cancellation of matches and events as the sport sector contributes to climate change by releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases.
In recent times, the world has rightly focussed on the immediate threat of a global virus pandemic, but urgent issues, including climate change, food waste and accumulation of single-use plastic in the environment have not gone away. Social issues from individual mental health to global social unrest have also increased over the last year.
This course will introduce the key economic, social and environmental issues that will affect sport and indicate where sport can make a positive impact. Attendees on this course will understand the current global context, the national (UK) context and the responses that their organisations can take. Graduates of this course will be well positioned to steer their organisation through the necessary changes to a more sustainable future.
The aim of this course is to deliver a grounding in understanding principles of sustainable development and how these relate to the sports sector and to the management of sports organisations. The content is equally relevant to professional and recreational sports, though many examples and case studies will come from professional sport.
The course is intended as an introduction to the subject of sustainability in the context of sport. It will be grounded in the social, political and scientific contexts for sport and sustainable development and will include a mixture of theoretical and practical content, including case studies to illustrate where sport has demonstrated good practice in managing sustainability issues.
The course will:
· Provide an understanding of environmental, social, economic and political contexts for sustainable development.
· Present frameworks for understanding sustainability and introduce key issues and impacts in the context of sport management.
· Define key issues and opportunities in sustainable development and how sport affects, and is affected by, each of these.
· Provide guidelines for measurement, management and reporting for sustainable development.
Those completing the course will:
· Be able to recognise and understand environmental, social and economic issues as they relate to the sports sector.
· Understand the actions taken by selected organisations in addressing sustainability issues.
· Translate their knowledge directly to the management of their own organisation.
The course will be delivered as a series of on-line talks, interactive sessions and readings. The course outline (which may be subject to change) is:
1. Timeline and history – a review of key social, political and environmental events in the development of our understanding of sustainability.
2. Sustainability issues – significant sustainability issues will be introduced and discussed in both a global context and as they relate to the sports sector.
3. Current impacts – global impacts of the climate, ecological and waste crises, how sport is being affected by changing conditions now, and in the future, and how sport can respond.
4. Definitions and frameworks – Sustainable development defined and put into different contexts including practical, political and scientific frameworks and their relevance to sport.
5. Leadership and opportunities – how and why sports have embedded leadership into their operations.
6. From global events to local clubs – how responses can be scaled and made relevant at all levels.
7. Managing and reporting – what solutions are available? What is the role of international standards and reporting schemes in managing sports events?
8. Greenwashing – Can sports events ever be truly sustainable? How should sport communicate sustainability performance and what happens when impacts outweigh benefits?
Feedback and Testimonials
“The course was interesting” scored an average 4.9 out of 5 with the most recent group of attendees who also said:
“I thought it was a brilliant course, well delivered and had all of the relevant topics to gain a fundamental understanding of the subject area.”
“I would most definitely recommend this course to others and I strongly feel that the whole sporting sector needs to seriously understand and address these challenges immediately.”
“I very much enjoyed taking part in the course, which was a very accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the background, concepts and issues within sustainability and sport.”
“I thought he course was fascinating. It gave a great introduction into a world of sustainability in sport. I came away with a much greater understanding. I really enjoyed the small groups and the interactive conversations that were encouraged throughout.”
“I really enjoyed the course. This was exactly what I was looking for and, because of this course, I am encouraged to learn more.”
The course will be led by Dr Russell Seymour, Chief Executive of BASIS. Russell has an academic background in ecology, environmental sciences and biodiversity management and sixteen years of experience in sports management, eleven of them as sustainability manager at Lord’s Cricket Ground. He is a visiting lecturer at Loughborough University in London (in Sport Leadership) and Greenwich University (in Event Management).
The course will be delivered weekly in six two-hour on-line sessions providing 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Relevant guest speakers will join some sessions.
The next courses will start in the last week of January and the last week of April 2021, with the regular day to be agreed.
The full cost of the course is £675. BASIS Members (including individuals working for a BASIS member organisation or partner organisation) receive a 33% discount to pay £450. To book your place please email firstname.lastname@example.org