Based on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the Here East campus, both Badu Sports and Loughborough University share the same vision of extending and developing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by enabling the next generation of talent through opportunities and a network of connections. The Sport+ project is centred around making the sports industry visible and accessible to young people in East London and about developing them so they can be a part of the sporting world.
“I have been born, raised and educated in East London. I know the talent here is amongst the best in the world,” said Programme Director of Badu Sport+ Olivia Eastwood-Gray.
She continued: “Talent drives all industries, yet the sport industry is hidden to so many young people in east London. Badu Sport+ is aiming to change all that.”
Over 4 million people work in the UK sports industry and this figure is still growing daily. A recent Sport England report concluded that “sport and physical activity contributes £39 billion to the UK’s economy”. Despite the last six months waking many industries up to the fact that if they only recruit in narrow, non-porous recruitment channels they are damaging their business there is still a great deal to do to improve the sports industry.
Olivia Eastwood-Gray continued:
“This is where we come in. Badu Sport+ is kindly supported by Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and delivered by Foundation for Future London. We (young people of colour, Black young men and women, 16-24year olds who live in the four London growth boroughs) are ready to revolutionise the sports industry. Together with Badu Sports and Loughborough University London we have created a programme that will use the power of three activities to shake things up.”
The Badu Sport+ programme will offer three interlinked programme sections; See it, Be it and Share it. These will be conducted over an 18-month period, focusing on making the sporting industry more visible and accessible. This will be done through:
- Weekly mentoring session
- Online panels and talks from key figures, Loughborough University London graduates and partners within the industry
- Visits to key recruiters
- Professional development and employability sessions
- Two special 100% tuition fee scholarships to study a postgraduate taught programme
- Professional media training
- Building an online community for the sports industry to offer opportunities to the great talent that is here in east London
Programme Director of Badu Sport+ Olivia Eastwood-Gray said:
“I grew up in Hackney and watched the building of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games site. I now work in one of the buildings that hosted the games and I want to make sure that all those that live in the surrounding boroughs know about how to follow in my footsteps. The buildings that housed the games are building new opportunities in the sports industry. Whether it’s eSports, broadcasting, or marketing professional sports clubs and brands, with the talent in these boroughs, Sport+ really will transform the sports industry.”
Founder and CEO of Badu Sports, Nana Badu, said:
“We strive to build a legacy through the vision of young people by creating a platform that shares knowledge to inform our community of the opportunities available to them and the skills to equip themselves to choose their best journey. This knowledge sharing will empower them to build for themselves and give them access to an opportunity that they deserve and can achieve. Loughborough University London and Badu see the gaps as the sports industry has not tapped into their capability or limitless potential; this opportunity is a vehicle to affect change and ensure all young people achieve and thrive.”
Professor Tony Edwards, Dean of Loughborough University London, said:
“We are proud to be a part of the community in east London. The Badu Sport+ programme will connect the great talent that is here to training, education and employment opportunities that can transform lives. Too many industries are invisible to young people growing up in our community. Loughborough University London will be using its expertise to open up the sports industry and provide lasting change. In particular, this new programme widens the opportunity for local people to study with us on a 100% tuition fee scholarship. We are hugely excited about the project and the opportunities it provides.”