PHL is 2013 Home to Globally-Recognized Beyond Sport Summit

Gabrielle Chepurny, for GPA -- Later this year, the city of Philadelphia will be the site of the fifth annual Beyond Sport Summit. The 2013 Summit will be held from the 9th to the 11th of September, and will consist of everything from practical workshops to large-scale panels about global sports. Topics will range from sustainability to social inclusion and securing funding. Attracting delegates from six continents, the idea behind these events is to bring together prominent leaders in sports, government and business to discuss how global sports can be used to address social issues such as the environment, education and health.

Beyond Sport has become a truly global event of newsworthy proportions. Last year’s Summit was held in London prior to the summer Olympics, and was attended by the likes of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (a regular Summit attendee) and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan. 

Hosted by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Beyond Sport Summit is also backed and sponsored by other PHL teams such as the Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Union. The Eagles were the winner of the Sport Team of the Year award in 2011, which is when their relationship with Beyond Sport began. 

An event such as this one holds numerous benefits for the city of Philadelphia on more than one front. Economically, the city will see a large boost in cash flow, thanks to several hundred delegates who will be flown in from all parts of the globe (Rwanda, the Philippines and Australia to name a few) and will have the chance to enjoy what Philadelphia has to offer visitors.

Two main initiatives of the Summit are to help further develop youth sports programs from the local to the global, in addition to seeking to inspire the surrounding community to create positive output. Not only do Summit events benefit the city in an immediate sense, but the product that comes from discussions will continue to benefit the city over time. The hope is that through bringing all of these people together they will be able to form game plans of success for Philadelphia locals and youth. After these plans and recommendations have been made, the goal is to find local partners who can make them possible.

“I say the economics, in many ways, are the least of it. The real legacy will be for all the youth organizations based in Philadelphia,” Executive Director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, Larry Needle, said.

Additionally, the Summit gathers locals with people of national and international origins, providing everyone with networking opportunities not otherwise possible, all in a place appropriately named The City of Brotherly Love. Connecting people who know the city well with those who are experiencing it for the first time combines different perspectives, opening doors to new ideas and opportunities for growth.

Needle said, “That’s really one of the exciting things about this, is not only do you have all these national and international entities that come together and share ideas, but we really think for our local, grassroots organizations it’s going to be a huge benefit for them.”

Alexandra Chalat, Executive Director for Beyond Sport echoed a similar feeling, “For Philly, it’s a unique platform, as some of the world’s game-changers in sport – both from the top down and bottom up – will attend the event and see Philadelphia as a passionate sports city, and one that is dedicated to community work.”

Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Generocity and Beyond Sport