Commonwealth Sport

New partnership to drive opportunities in sport in higher education across the Commonwealth

Published on 24 November 2021

As the UK prepares to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)  and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)  have today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further collaboration around higher education and sport in the Commonwealth.    

Under this MoU, the ACU and CGF will explore opportunities to:  

  • work together on joint activities leading up to, at, and after the Commonwealth Games 
  • work collaboratively on research, practitioner and educational activities in the area of sport for sustainable development.  

By working together, the organisations will strengthen and expand existing CGF links with universities, deliver opportunities in sport for students across the Commonwealth, and highlight the vital contribution that universities make to sustainable development through sport teaching, research, and community engagement.  

The agreement will also bring the potential for partnership activities such as engaging researchers, students and practitioners from both networks in the Commonwealth Games regional events, exploring with stakeholders the potential for a Commonwealth Sport Universities Network, and investigating opportunities to sustain engagement after the 2022 Games through co-developing projects and initiatives.  

Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Secretary General and Chief Executive, said:

‘Universities change lives, not just through research and education, but also through engaging with their local communities. Sport has a unique power to bring people from different backgrounds together, with the potential to build on this to engage people in dialogue and action on equality, diversity and inclusion. Across the Commonwealth, universities are championing inclusion through sport, widening access and reducing inequality, on campuses and beyond. 

‘Through our shared understanding of the value of higher education and sport to the Commonwealth, this partnership with the CGF will enable us to further add value to our members, including encouraging new research partnerships, new sport for sustainable development activities, and highlighting the vital contribution that universities make to sustainable development through sport.’   

CGF President, Dame Louise Martin, said: 

'We are delighted to be partnering with the ACU to help progress our vision, mission and values.

'The ACU has more than 500 members spread across the Commonwealth which includes the University of Birmingham. This means we can capitalise on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the host region and across our 72 nations and territories.

'The Commonwealth has a population of 2.5 billion people, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age. These young people are assets to a country’s development. Partnerships such as this, will help us empower them to realise their full potential to drive change now and in the future.

'They will help us to achieve our vision which states through sport, we create peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities across the Commonwealth.'

The MoU was signed by the ACU’s Chief Executive and Secretary General and the CGF’s President, formalising the partnership between the two organisations. 

Take our Universities, Sport and Sustainable Development Survey 

To help us design and deliver future activities in the area of sport that suit the needs of members, we are inviting ACU members to take a short survey.

If your university is involved in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, or any initiatives relating to sustainable development, equality, diversity or inclusivity through sport – then we want to hear from you.

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