Global Initiatives

Global Sports Mentoring Program 

In 2016 the U.S. Department of State restructured the Global Sports Mentorship Program initiative to include a disability sport component. Continuing its cooperative partnership with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society, it launched Sport for Community (S4C), an immersive mentorship and cultural exchange model to focus on empowering people with disabilities through community-based sports initiatives.

Local, national and global accessibility challenges, social exclusion, and a lack of educational and sports opportunities continue to keep people with disabilities marginalized. Evidence shows that people with disabilities who are given opportunities to participate in sports experience an increase in self-confidence, social inclusion, economic empowerment, employment, and independence. With the growth in prominence of the Paralympic Games and the increasing development of adapted sports worldwide, the time is right to empower leaders with a passion and commitment for promoting equality and opportunity so that everyone receives the opportunity to get in the game.

Lakeshore Foundation was chosen, for the second consecutive year, to be the host/mentor organization to two emerging leaders Tina Revazashvili from the country of Georgia and Keit Jaanimågi from the country of Estonia. During their three week on-site residency at Lakeshore Foundation, we provided them with extensive interdepartmental opportunities as well as cultural opportunities to cultivate their skills in sports management, marketing, advocacy and business all to address that which they identified to be pressing social issues facing persons with disabilities within their local communities. With the assistance of Lakeshore’s mentoring team, they each developed a strategic action plan to address these specific social issues through sport.

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Women With Disability in Sport Roundtable

Thirty women from 14 states and two different countries were invited to Lakeshore for the Women with Disability in Sport Roundtable to gather qualitative data surrounding the needs of women with disabilities in sport. The diverse group of female athletes with a disability and those who work within the field of adapted sport began a dialogue and worked across specific content areas to generate common themes as well as highlight gaps within the sports movement. The roundtable served as a starting point for the development of goals and strategies which will provide a roadmap to navigate the inclusion of women and girls with disability in leadership, coaching, sports administration, officiating, mentoring, media visibility and community engagement.

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Inclusion by Design Awards

In January 2016 Lakeshore, in partnership with the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities Task Force on Physical Activity and Sport, UNICEF, the Institute for Human Centered Design and the American College of Sports Medicine launched the Inclusion by Design Impact Awards in Sport and Physical Activity. The award was set up to inspire and share best practices around the world that demonstrate excellence and innovation in their approach to achieving more inclusion for children and adolescents with disabilities. Winners of the award include the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Bangladesh, The Inclusion Club, Ltd. and No Barriers USA.

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Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities (GPcwd)

Amy Rauworth, Director of Policy & Public Affairs, served as co-chair for the GPcwd task force on physical activity and sport. The mission of the Physical Activity and Sport Task Force is to promote mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration to enhance policies and programs that promote the right for children with disabilities to inclusive physical activity, physical education, sport, recreation and play in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other relevant human rights legislation. The GPcwd Task Force is committed to advancing the rights of children with disabilities to all forms of physical activity and sport through policy, advocacy and strategic communications.

In 2016 the task force launched and awarded Inclusion by Design Impact Awards. The awards were set up to inspire and share practices around the world that demonstrate excellence and innovation in their approach to achieving more inclusion for children and adolescents with disabilities.

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United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Realizing the Right to Sport and Physical Activity in 2015 and Beyond

The Institute for Human Centered Design, Lakeshore Foundation, American College of Sports Medicine and the International Disability Alliance hosted a side event during the Eighth Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This event focused on the right to sport and physical activity for persons with disabilities and provided information on new resources for States Parties and CSO’s. An additional feature was the showcasing of low-cost sport wheelchairs available through Motivation and the International Paralympic Committee that allow for more community based Programs.