Black in Sport Summit 2023: Celebrating Achievements and Tackling Discrimination

KEY TAKEAWAYS
The Black in Sport Summit 2023 aimed to address racism and celebrate black individuals' accomplishments in sports at the London Stadium.
High-profile athletes like Anton Ferdinand, Alice Dearing, and Lewis Hamilton spoke out against racism and shared their experiences.
The event focused on turning adversity into opportunity, with speakers like Richard Riakporhe and Bobby Kasanga discussing personal challenges.
Networking opportunities and discussions on the importance of allies and advocacy in sports business were featured.
The summit demonstrated the power of student initiatives in uniting sports leaders to tackle discrimination and promote representation.

The Black in Sport Summit (BISS) 2023, an event dedicated to addressing racism and celebrating the accomplishments of black individuals in the sports sector, took place at the iconic London Stadium, the venue for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Established in 2022 by Loughborough University students Ladi Ogunmekan, Samuel Ola, and Emmanuel Shittu, the summit was sponsored by media and entertainment company Sky and co-hosted by Sky Sports News presenter Mike Wedderburn.

High-Profile Athletes Speak Out Against Racism

The event featured an array of successful black athletes and sports figures, including footballer Anton Ferdinand, swimmer Alice Dearing, and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

Ferdinand delivered a powerful talk on racism in football, sharing his personal experiences of racial abuse during his professional career.

Hamilton appeared in a pre-recorded interview, discussing his commitment to creating opportunities through Mission 44, a non-profit organization aimed at helping young people receive a better education.

The summit also included panel discussions and interviews addressing discrimination and underrepresentation of black individuals in sports.

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Undefeated professional boxer Richard Riakporhe and Bobby Kasanga, CEO of Hackney Wick FC, participated in a session that explored how to convert adversity into opportunity.

Both guests drew upon personal challenges they faced earlier in their lives.

Carina White, a broadcaster, facilitated a conversation on the importance of supporters and promoting advocacy within the sports business field.

Networking and Employer Challenges

Attendees had the opportunity to connect with experienced sports professionals and take part in the ‘Employer Challenge,’ an event that allowed them to interact directly with industry experts in the sports sector.

Carina White, a broadcaster, facilitated a conversation on the importance of supporters and promoting advocacy within the sports business field.

The Impact of Representation and Social Justice Activism

The concluding panel discussion of the event, which included top-tier athletes such as Lutalo Muhammad, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Christian Scotland-Williamson, and Alice Dearing, centered on the influence of representation for black athletes and the role of social justice activism within sports.

BISS: A Powerful Student Initiative

Jo Simpson, Commercial and Facilities Director for Loughborough Sport, praised the BISS committee for harnessing the power of the student voice to unite established sports leaders in addressing discrimination against black individuals in the sports sector.

She also acknowledged that the event marked the beginning of something much larger.

BISS co-founder Ladi Ogunmekan expressed gratitude to the hosts, speakers, and delegates for contributing to an engaging and insightful day.

He highlighted the progress made since the inaugural summit in 2022 and affirmed the commitment to continue building up the community.

Craig Miller

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