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The Youth Charter began 2021 with message of hope as part of our National and Global Call 2 Action, in a time of  extreme uncertainty, particularly for the young people from already disadvantaged communities.


The 2021 Mandela Mile Leadership Programme (MMLP) opened for applications in January, with the

Youth Charter supporting the MMLP through our Social Coach Leadership Programme and the development of a Mandela Mile Global Community Campus.


As part of our ongoing Think Tank contributions a Youth Charter submission was made to the House of Lords  National Plan for Sport and Recreation Committee Inquiry, in which we included a number of recommendations that we have called for over the past 28 years. Furthermore, we stated that A National Plan for  Sport and Recreation cannot be delivered in a silo, it should be part of a broader National Development Plan  linked to other related development plans such as: National Youth Development Plan (please see Youth Charter National Call 2 Action); National Education Plan; National Health Plan; National Employment and Enterprise Plan. These plans should be part of British Law, with governments held to account for delivering them.

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The Youth Charter 2020 Annual Report was launched at the start of February, detailing the work we had delivered throughout 2020 under the challenging circumstances of the COVID Pandemic.

The Youth Charter continued its Digital Transformation with the launch of its Digital Archive, which is an in-depth record of the agency’s work over the past 28 years. The Digital Archive provides a rich currency of Projects, Programmes, Conferences, Events and a Sport for Development and Peace Library, which supports our ongoing campaigning, advocacy and social brokering with young people, communities and the public, private and third sector, and is a resource for academics, policy makers and practitioners.

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The month of March marked the Youth Charter’s 28th Anniversary, following its launch at Wembley on 23rd March 1993, as a legacy of the Manchester 2000 Olympic bid and the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, with call for a #LegacyOpportunity4All...

The Youth Charter contributed to the Advance HE UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusion conference discussing how higher education can be catalyst for change and improving race equality across the UK.

The Youth Charter also presented its past, present and future work to the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee as part of our ongoing Games Legacy work in a postponed Olympic and Paralympic year and with the Community Games in Birmingham also marking the 20th Anniversary of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth of which the Youth Charter is an ongoing legacy…

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As the UK began to come out its third COVID Lockdown the Youth Charter’s work for 2021 stepped up a few gears, starting with a the Youth Charter Global Message for International Sport for Development and Peace Day held on 6th April.

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The Youth Charter teamed up with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to launch an innovative and exciting one-stop digital platform to network, upload and share information on leadership within sport, art, culture and digital activities and re-engage all those who have been affected during the pandemic for organisations working with young people in the area.

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The Youth Charter delivered a second Mandela Mile Leadership Programme “Being a Leader - Living our Values” workshop with 30 young leaders from around the world.

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The Youth Charter founder and chair, Geoff Thompson, participated in the UNISON Stephen Lawrence Day online “Racism where next” panel discussion about whether systemic racism has moved on and the way forward.

Over the past couple of years the Youth Charter has been working with Baroness Doreen Lawrence and the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, which launched in October 2020 as part of Black History Month, to ensure the legacy what has been achieved following the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, the subsequent obstruction of justice, and then the inquiry and 1999 MacPherson Report which marked a watershed moment in addressing institutional racism in the UK.

The Youth Charter signed up with Unlock Net Zero, which launched in March 2021, with Geoff writing a Carbonwise article for Unlock Net Zero, outlining the ongoing issues and challenges of climate change, carbon zero footprint, the language, the culture and the societal changes that are now required for future generations, which have never been more critical in these uncertain and challenging times.

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Geoff also presented at the Youth Charter’s Global Call 2 Action to “Sport 4 Impact - Sport as a Vehicle for Social Impact” a Global Multi Stakeholder Forum. The Sport 4 Impact forum aims to contribute to build a stronger communities through a strategic utilisation of sport at local level in view of achieving the United Nations SDGs.

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Sport Birmingham hosted and facilitated a Youth Charter presentation looking at the sporting, physical activity and legacy plans of the  Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. With a particular emphasis on the disaffected and disadvantaged young people and communities, Geoff Thompson presented the #LegacyOpportunity4All campaign proposals with the mission aim of recruiting, selecting and deploying 1,000 Social Coaches in the Birmingham, West Midlands Region.

The WHO webinar series ‘reINVENT & reBUILD: Working together for a stronger, fairer and more inclusive physical and sport system for all’ began in May with #1 Build forward stronger: opportunities for exercise, fitness and health, with the Youth Charter contributing to, participating in and providing Youth Ambassadors for the webinar series and organizing Youth Forum webinar in July.

The first Youth Ambassador to represent the Youth Charter in the WHO webinar series was Benjamin Uzokwe, a 24-year-old fitness enthusiast, who currently manages a small group personal training facility in Salford, Greater Manchester.


The YC Founder and Chair, Geoff Thompson, participated in, and presented to, the United States and United Kingdom Summit on Race, as the Youth Charter marked the first anniversary of the George Floyd killing and the resulting global response to a racial inequality that shook the world. In the past 12 months there has been social, cultural, economic, and political debate, discussion, and dialogue primarily in the USA and the UK with global activism continuing to mark an historic moment in time that has since highlighted all issues of inequality irrespective of what you look like, where you come from, what you believe in, what you sound like, or your lifestyle choice.

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The Lloyd Cowan Bursary was launched at the start of May with support from global sport stars, including Sprint legend Usain Bolt, London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Britain’s fastest woman, Dina Asher-Smith

Lloyd Cowan was an international hurdler who became one of Great Britain’s most successful coaches. He guided Christine Ohuruogu to World, Olympic and Commonwealth titles over 400m, and Andy Turner to European and Commonwealth 110 metres hurdles victories.

A hugely popular and much respected coach, Cowan’s death in January 2021 from COVID-19 led to an outpouring of grief from the international athletics community. The ‘Lloyd Cowan Bursary’ will award grants of up to  500 twice a year (in March and September). They will be available to coaches, and to unfunded athletes, aged 16-23, for whom cost is a barrier to accessing developmental opportunities in athletics.

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The WHO webinar series ‘reINVENT & reBUILD: Working together for a stronger, fairer and more inclusive physical and sport system for all’ continued in June with the Youth Charter participating in:


#4 Hidden in plain sight: Realizing the full potential of civil society

#5 Innovation as an accelerator: Engaging the next generation

Youth Ambassador’s, Julien Baud Grasset, from France, and Chantal Sathi, from Canada, represented the Youth Charter in the #4 Hidden in plain sight and #5 Innovation as an accelerator respectively.


Julien Baud-Grasset discovered the Sport for Development and Peace movement during his studies abroad in the UK. In 2018, he contributed to the Youth Charter’s analysis of the inclusion of Sport for Development and Peace into the Olympic and Paralympic legacy.


Chantal Sathi is an innovator and pioneer in education, sport, and digital technology. She is completing her PhD research in International Development and Policy at the University of Atlanta, USA. She is also the Founding CEO of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech startup called CornerstoneAI Inc., an AI anti-bias audit for machine learning systems.


The Youth Charter celebrated South Africa Youth Day 2021 and the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Youth Charter’s South Africa Office in 1996.


YC Founder and Chair, Prof. Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL continued the #Fight4theStreets campaign, despite recognising that he would not be afforded the opportunity to represent Team GB in Karate as it debuted at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, #Fight4theStreets...

Olympic Day 2021 was also held in June, and was marked by the Youth Charter through its past, present and future Games Legacy work, #LegacyOpportunity4All...


As the postponed UEFA Euro 2020 Championships started on 11th June the Youth Charter shared its Soccerwise programme.

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As part of the WHO ‘reINVENT & reBUILD’ webinar series the Youth Charter helped to organize and deliver webinar #7 An Active Future: Youth Forum to co-create an active generation.

The purpose of the Webinar was to provide global young leaders of diverse identity, skills, competencies, talent and potential from sport, culture, art and digital sectors to contribute to the seven series webinar, discussing, debating and recommending future policy that would see sport for development aim to re-set the current movement, sector and industry. The webinar include four specific themes: 1. Champion Change;   2. Understand Better; 3. Invest Smarter; and  4. Strengthen Partnerships.

The Youth Charter recruited 9 Youth Ambassadors as Panel Members for the #7 An Active Future webinar these were:

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Mitchell McSweeney also participated in webinar: #6 Measure what you treasure: Strengthening impact & investment in sport and Physical activity.


The Youth Charter also recruited Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE as a Key Note Speaker. The webinar was chaired by Dr Fiona Bull, Head of Physical Activity Unit at the World Health Organisation. With YC Founder and Chair, Prof. Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL, as moderator for the debate and discussion. Please see the WHO YC Webinar Report for more detail.

The summer of sport was in full swing in July, with the Youth Charter sharing its Tenniswise programme and report as Wimbledon culminated in London. And as England made the Euro 2020 Final at Wembley the Youth Charter shared its extensive work with The FA and English Football.

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opened the Youth Charter began its Olympic Ambassador social media campaign calling for Team GB Athletes to support our ongoing Games Legacy work. The Youth Charter also started its research for the YC 2020 Game Legacy Report, which builds on the 2012, 2016 and 2018 Games Legacy Reports.

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The Youth Charter Olympic Ambassador social media campaign continued up to the closing ceremony of Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Youth Charter also relaunched the YC 2020 World Karate Report as Karate made its debute at Tokyo 2020. And after the Olympics had closed the Youth Charter launched its Team GB Race Equality Summary Report.

The Youth Charter then launched its Paralympic Ambassador social media campaign following the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

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The West Indian Social Club was the host venue for the Youth Charter Social Coach Leadership Programme (SCLP) meeting in Wolverhampton. Geoff Thompson outlined the SCLP to the participants, mainly from the martial arts of judo and karate who will be signing up as Social Coaches as part of the Birmingham 2022 legacy Community Campus, which will cover the West Midlands region.

The Paralympic Ambassador social media campaign culminated in celebration of the record breaking achievements of Youth Charter Vice-President Dame Sarah Storey DBE. Sarah won three more Paralympic Gold medals to take her total Paralympic medal haul to 28 in both swimming and cycling at 8 Paralympic Games over 29 years since 1992 and throughout this success Sarah has been a youth/sport ambassador and now vice-president of the Youth Charter. Long may her successes continue…

At the same time the Youth Charter continued its 2020 Games Legacy research, which saw the launch of the Paralympics GB Race Equality Summary Report.

The Youth Charter has also been preparing for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and is planning to deliver a 2022 Connecting Communities programme to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Manchester 2002 Connecting Communities programme delivered as part of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. As part of this the Youth Charter’s Projects and Programmes have been officially endorsed by United by Birmingham 2022.

In his role as deputy chair of Birmingham 2022, Geoff Thompson, attended the Birmingham Rockets Open Day in support of the work they are doing with young people and their communities. This was followed with a presentation by Geoff at the Breaking Boundaries Project Impact Event at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.


Geoff also co-chaired a discussion on Leadership and Resilience with AyshaB, a Young Professionals Life Coach, at the Housing 2021 Conference at Manchester Central.


And Geoff finished a busy month by sharing his leadership experiences and discussing how leaders handle pressure with the Coordinate Sport – How to Leader an Activity Organisation webinar discussion.

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The annual Black History Month started with the Youth Charter re-launching its Black Historywise Education Pack which has been downloaded by schools in Wales where Black History is now part of the curriculum year round.

The Youth Charter co-founder and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Deputy Chair, Geoff Thompson joined dignitaries and guests at the launch of the Queens Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace, meeting up with Youth Charter Ambassador’s Diane Modahl MBE, Commonwealth Games Champion and Olympian, and Kadeena Cox, Paralympic Champion.

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The month of November start the world coming together in Glasgow for COP26 in order hammer out deals to address the accelerating Global Heating and Climate Crisis that, along with other Ecological crises, is threatening the ability of future generations to survive of our exclusive Planetary Biosphere that we dependent on for our survival. As the Global Community gathers in Glasgow for the COP26, a fringe event was held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, Unlock Net Zero “Through the lens of Net Zero: The Elephant in the Room”, where the Youth Charter and Places for People launched Unlock Next Gen a climate action collaboration programme for young people and the housing sector, and is part of the Youth Charter’s Carbonwise programme.

“Let’s get the flaming job done ...

Young people do not want any more talk,

they want the talk walked ...

This is a fight worth fighting!”

Prof. Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA,

YC Founder and Chair

“It isn’t about having another debate in 18 months;

it’s about action today. Collaboration is an urgent

issue, and it’s simple - if you’ve got a good idea,

share it. If there are other ideas today, let’s talk

about them, find the best ones and move forward.”

Dave Cowans,

Group Chief Executive, Places for People

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As another year of trials and tribulations came to an end the Youth Charter launched its 2020 Games Legacy Report. The report highlighted athlete race inequalities in Team GB and Paralympics GB from the Sydney 2000 to Tokyo 2020, a period in  1.3bn of public was spent on elite Olympic and Paralympic sports by UK Sport. At a Global Level to the report highlighted inequality in athlete participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games between ‘developed’ and ‘less developed’ countries. The inequality represented in sport is representative of the inquality in wider society, within and between countries, and sport can has to play it’s part in addressing inequality on and off the pitch...

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One person who has helped to reduce inequality on and off the pitch is the RFU’s Alan Black who passed away in December. Alan was a dear friend and great supporter of the Youth Charter who developed the ground breaking Governing Body, social inclusion through rugby. The ‘Rugbywise Programme’ and the Social Coaches delveloped through the Youth Development Officer network of the RFU provided a model of governing body engagement in communities - inner city, suburban and rural. ‘Blackie’ as he was fondly known developed an ongoing relationship with the Youth Charter over 20 years that led up to the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the production of the Rugbywise Toolkit, which was delivered at the Sale Sharks Rugby Club. The legacy of Alan Black was to see sport development through rugby in the lives of young people and communities globally. He will be sorely missed but fondly remembered as one of the true authentic advocates of the power of sport to improve lives and provide hope and opportunity.

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