Here For Sport Launches its First Milestone Target
Student enterprise in sport is a rarity, but it certainly has not been one for Sam Winton. Here for Sport has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, to help to help the social enterprise’s mission of making sport more accessible. The project aims to reach £20,000 by May 18th 2021.
The Kickstarter has been put in place to raise awareness for the Here for Sport mission more than ever before; sport accessibility must be a priority in post-pandemic recovery. Their upcoming aim is to launch a schools’ program in Coventry which works vulnerable young people involved in gangs. Therefore, in joining the movement, any pledge would help break down the barriers to sport participation and challenge core social inequalities. Though a simple donation is not all that is available. Based on the size of a pledge, donors can receive bundles of stickers, water bottles, base layers, sweatshirts, tracksuit bottoms, and much more.
Sam, along with the volunteers behind this enterprise, have worked closely with designers to relaunch their products, made from recycled materials, that have some interesting and unique designs to supplement the range and help raise awareness. Though, their longer-term ambitions lie in an upcycling system and implementing full control of their supply chain. Through clothing, Here for Sport hopes to use its unique designs in challenging people’s assumptions and perceptions of sport, and utilising the powerful effects of behavioural psychology and signaling.
It is not a secret that sport helps people become fitter and healthier. Yet, the crux of Here For Sport is to challenge the barriers that still persist in sport participation. These barriers widen health inequalities within the UK already impacting those most marginalised and excluded. Here For Sport characterise it as an epidemic and one that is only getting worse. They aim to solve this issue and flip the narrative.
Here For Sport was founded in 2019 by Sam Winton after taking up sport during his first year at St Andrews and discovering a passion for it. In a conversation with his parents he reflected on his own experience with sport and why he hadn’t taken it up sooner: this question was the start of Here For Sport. After months of research, Sam eventually created the first classic range with the help of Rival Kit, which was inspired by the success of Rowing for Healthy Minds.
Sam thanks Saints Sport for being a huge inspiration in founding his initial passion for sport. He added that the people within the sporting community of St Andrews embody the values of the Saints, and its Sam’s mission to ensure everyone in sport gets to have the same positive experience. Sam has tried to help the community to continue to grow and develop, both on his own club’s committee but also through the Athletic Union’s Executive team. Through these channels, he has also met many who are willing to join the movement and give power to the momentum at Here For Sport.
Here For Sport has been incredibly active in the academic space, working primarily at the University of St Andrews and Loughborough University. They are actively contributing to the literature on diversity and inclusion and utilising their own original research to actively push a policy agenda which encourages participation and prioritises accessibility. Alongside practical innovations, the enterprise have also given lectures on sustainable business practices, innovation and sports business across the UK.
Created in 2019, Here For Sport has surpassed the average longevity of social enterprise, and a pandemic. Its expertise has reached thousands across the country, while its supporters only continue to grow. Sam has truly excelled over the past two years, in the face of resilience and adversity. For this, Claire Scott, Saints Sports Development Manager, says she has been very fortunate over the last year to work and get to know Sam, noting that he was instrumental in the recent achievement of the silver the LGBT Charter, awarded in December 2020. She adds, ‘I admire his passions and dedication in making sport equal, accessible and affordable for everyone’.
On growing your own social enterprise, Sam says, ‘for anyone who has an idea to set up their own student enterprise, I would have nothing but encouragement. It is challenging, requiring a lot of effort and perseverance. Nevertheless, it is one of the most rewarding experiences. It teaches you so many skills and allows you to meet new people who share a similar drive and passion’.