Global Design Challenge award to help sports tackle Covid-19

Active Parents Active Kids has been selected as a landmark project to tackle challenges facing sports and physical activity due to Covid-19.

The grassroots non-profit organisation, which promotes parent-child sport, won a place as a finalist at the first ever Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity.

The worldwide competition was launched by international and Irish NGOs, sports experts, academics and design thinkers, to find innovative solutions to problems facing sport and physical activity because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Partners included Sport Ireland, AIESEP (the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education) and UNESCO.

Redesigning sport and physical activity

Participants were asked to develop a comprehensive vision of inclusive access to physical education, physical activity and sport, taking into account the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Kazan Action Plan.

They were invited to answer the question: “How might we sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not-so-young, for participants, spectators, fans and community groups, so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable – and fun! – during the pandemic and afterwards?”

Active Parents Active Kids proposed starting free sports taster sessions for parents with their children in Lausanne, Switzerland, in a pilot programme which could be rolled out to other towns and countries. This would help families to tackle challenges caused by Covid-19 such as having less money and fewer opportunities to do sports, particularly following the closures of schools, sports clubs and other sporting activities, and the cancellation of mass participation events.

It was one of eight entries chosen to go through to the final, out of 37 successful projects from across the world. Innovators from the winning projects are now working together to find ways they can support each other and help people to access sport, physical education and physical activity.

All finalists will go forward to the next stage, where they could get incubated by bigger, international organisations to help them grow and find funding.

Global Design Challenge winners

Congratulations to all the other #GlobalDesign2020 entrants, especially the overall winner EnerEthics, and the two runners-up PlayDate and FreeBay. EnerEthics proposed the creation of a personal wellbeing score, called PQ, a measurable rating which would highlight personal and community investments in lifestyle improvements such as sports. PlayDate would be an online platform for teachers and students to be physically active in a virtual space, and Freebay would enable people to access second hand sports equipment and venues free of charge or at low cost.

Thank you to the sporting organisations in Ireland and internationally who made this challenge possible and introduced us to physical activity projects across the world – many of which can be seen at the Global Design Challenge platform on the DevPost website.