Five young people from across the world, including one Brit, have been awarded for created proposals to tackle racism in sport.
The ‘Pitch for Hope’ competition prizes were handed out this week in New York and Tel Aviv, as part of a campaign run by Chelsea Football Club and World Jewish Congress (WJC) to fight antisemitism.
This comes after Chelsea F.C., one of the world’s leading clubs, backed a ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign earlier this year. The club has in the past been tainted by antisemitic chanting from fans.
In New York, a concept developed by Alyssa Chassman of London and Seren Fryatt of Washington D.C. was named as the winning idea, securing the pair a $10,000 grant from the club and WJC.
The trans-atlantic duo developed a concept called ‘Unite 2030’, comprising of a 48-hour ‘hackathon of ideas’, where 20 multicultural teams flesh out what it means to have inclusion in the beautiful game.
“We learn from history, and what we have learned is that powerful social shifts have been powered by grassroots efforts, by people standing up, being innovative and creative, creating disruptive solutions. We need to inspire the next generation of leaders … when we empower young leaders, we empower the world,” they said.
In Tel Aviv three Israeli youngsters, Idan Amos, Michael Shapira, and Raveh Shahar Tirosh, came up with the idea of a line of merchandise, featuring opposing teams’ logos, to draw rivals together.
They were awarded their prize after presenting their concept to a panel of judges, including former basketball player Tal Brody, Olympic judoka Yarden Gerbi, publicist Rani Rahav, and Israel Museum CEO Ido Bruno.
In both New York and Tel Aviv, there were among 5 or 6 finalists chosen to present concepts to judges, with the second and third prizes receiving $5,000 each.
World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer, said: “The fight against racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism in sports is only just beginning, and the road ahead is still long and challenging. We are proud and honoured to be teaming up with Chelsea Football Club to effect real change in this arena, but we know that we need the energy, ambition, and vision of young people to really make a difference.
“We wish the winners the best of luck in their endeavours, and will be with you all along the way to help you turn our collective dream, a sports world free of hate, into reality.”
The Pitch for Hope competition is made possible through generous donations of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea owner, and WJC President, Ronald S. Lauder, and is part of the three-pronged ‘Red Card for Hate initiative’, launched in April.
The next stage will involve a video series, before culminating with a global summit in Paris next year.