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Teams invited to register for ‘Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity post-Covid-19’ hackathon

ISCA has joined forces with some of Ireland’s leading sporting organisations to launch a global challenge aimed at reimagining what sport and physical activity might look like during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity is a 72-hour hackathon that will take place over the weekend of 26-28 June 2020 where teams will create and pitch solutions for the sport and physical activity sector to recover after the crisis. Teams are invited to submit ideas online from 19 June.


The initiative is being coordinated by a consortium of Irish partners including University College Cork Sport, Sport Ireland, the Federation of Irish Sport, the Irish National Centre for Outdoor Education and Training and Cork Local Sports Partnership. Together, we are looking for the best ideas on how sport and physical activity can survive and thrive in a world that is set to look remarkably different from what it has before.


“We are seeing empty football stadiums, matches taking place behind closed doors, and sports clubs of all kinds restricting access. Social distancing restrictions are making training different and changing the nature of participation in sport. At the same time people are more conscious than ever of the need to stay physically active,” Dr Fiona Chambers from University College Cork notes as the inspiration for the event.


“This ‘free to enter’ global challenge is designed to ask the question: How might we sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not-so-young, for participants, spectators, fans and community groups, so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable – and fun! – during the pandemic and afterwards?”


When coming up with ideas, participants might consider some of the following dimensions:


  • What is the potential of sport and physical activity to help moderate the impact of Covid-19?
  • Can you evaluate the current methods for managing the safe use of sport and physical activity locations during and after the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • How can we improve the clinical care of people with Covid-19 infections through sport and physical activity?
  • How can we reduce disparities in sport and physical activity opportunities during crises and post-crises?


All registered teams will receive free support in the form of a preliminary one-hour Workshop on Design Thinking by Dr Chambers, and video-making resources from Judie Russell of the Vidacademy, to help participants prepare their pitch. Proposals may be targeted at specific age groups or ability levels, at the different ways in which people interact with sports and physical activities and how space is used when we participate in sport and physical activity.


Successful teams will also have the opportunity to be matched with experts in the sporting world to incubate and trial some of the ideas.


“We are using the principles of Design Thinking to reimagine a world of sport and physical activity and we invite the best ideas from around the globe,” Dr Chambers says.


ISCA is a media partner for the Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity.


Click here for further information and to register. Registration opens Friday 19 June.


Dr Fiona Chambers is available for interview directly at [email protected]