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Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award

CSPS Partnership Awarded ESPN Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award

On one of the premier stages celebrating the powerful impact of sport around the world, a partnership of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society has been named a Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award honoree at ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Awards.

The awards ceremony will take place July 17 in Los Angeles, one day prior to the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards and the Laureus Summit, presented by ESPN.

“We are truly honored to receive one of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards, and appreciate so much our partnership with the US Department of State and espnW that made it possible,” said Sarah Hillyer, director of the CSPS. “Together and alongside brave and courageous women from all over the world, we are fulfilling our dream of leveraging the unique power of sport-based innovation to create a more equitable world for women and girls.”

Established in honor of former ESPN commentator Stuart Scott, the ENSPIRE award honors the work of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), a US Department of State and espnW initiative implemented by CSPS since its inception in 2012. The initiative has trained 99 international sports leaders from 53 countries during its gender-equality exchange programs. In addition to training participants in CSPS’ Better World curriculum, the center has partnered these leaders with female executive mentors at top organizations such as ESPN, Google, NHL, Big East Conference, and Saatchi & Saatchi..

GSMP alumna Dima Alardah leads a discussion for Syrian women in Jordan.

GSMP alumna Dima Alardah leads a discussion for Syrian women during soccer training at a refugee camp in Jordan, accompanied by former U.S. women’s soccer players Mary Harvey and Lori Lindsey

The center has collaborated with more than 110 mentors to support participants as they’ve developed plans for sport-based social change in their own communities, directly impacting more than 225,000 youth and women in the past six years.

“When we conceived of what the GSMP could become, we believed wholeheartedly it had the potential to be more than a simple, government-funded program,” said Hillyer. “We envisioned a global movement of changemakers, mentors, and emerging leaders, who believe in the power and potential of sport as a tool for social change at every level of society. Today we can celebrate together because this change is happening.”

The finalists and winners for the award were determined by a selection committee, which included Nick Keller, founder and president of Beyond Sport; Donald Lassere, CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center; Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA; Sab Singh, founder of Sports Doing Good; and Eli Wolff, director of the Power of Sport Lab and Sport and Society Initiative at Brown University.

“The collective impact that this year’s Sports Humanitarian Award nominees have made in their communities is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “From empowering youth through sports, to fighting for social change, to resourcing those in need, these honorees showcase the incredible power of sports.”

Three GSMP alumnae will return to the United States to participate in the ceremony: Geraldine Bernardo, founder of the Sport Management Council of the Philippines (2012, Philippines); Dima Alardah, youth project coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq (2014, Jordan); and Cynthia Coredo, program manager for Boxgirls Kenya (2015, Kenya).

Geraldine Bernardo with participants from her 2014 SWEEP project.

Geraldine Bernardo and participants in a 2014 SWEEP project she organized as part of disaster relief in the southern Philippines

“The CSPS provided the impetus and wherewithal that enabled me to launch my own sport-for-development programs in my country,” said Bernardo, who after participating in the GSMP returned home to launch two initiatives aimed at supporting vulnerable communities in the Philippines: Sports for Women’s Empowerment and Employment Program (SWEEP) as well as RePLAY, ReLIVE and ReCREATE—Building Community Resilience through Sports for Post-Disaster and Post-Conflict Areas.

“Even years later, the center continues to connect and involve the alumnae, ensuring that the ‘sisters’ will always have a web of support and opportunities for cross engagement.”

Highlights of the Sports Humanitarian Awards will be showcased during a one-hour program on ESPN, July 24, at 7 p.m. (ET). To learn more about the work of the CSPS, visit its website and social media channels: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.