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Published in Sports Management 2014 issue 2
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HRH Prince Harry, founder and patron of Invictus Games

The guys who’ve got to this stage and are able to take part in these events have, in my mind, already won

Prince Harry is bringing a new major sports event to the UK this year. Invictus Games will see more than 300 wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women compete across a number of paralympic-style sports in London later this year.

The first ever Invictus Games will take place from 10 to 14 September and will be fashioned after the US-based annual Warrior Games, which first took place in 2013. The vision for the Invictus Games is to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

“I’ve witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery,” the Prince said. 

“The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post injury and celebrate their fighting spirit, through an inclusive sporting competition that recognises the sacrifice they have made. I’m extremely proud that we are bringing an event like this to the UK for the first time and believe it can have a long lasting impact on the well-being of those who’ve served their nations so bravely.”

The Prince is confident that the games capture the imagination of the nation. “The way over the last five or six years the British public has taken to supporting the British forces – the Paralympic Games as well – it’s not about supporting the conflict in Afghanistan, it’s not about supporting war, it’s not about supporting the Forces themselves, but come along show your support, look at the journey these guys have been through.
He added that the Games would be another important part of the legacy built following the London 2012 Games, with the main venues for the competition being the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre.

“Invictus Games will offer the opportunity for the public to come and sit in these iconic Olympic and Paralympic venues so the Invictus will bring attention to the legacy part. We want to try and get as many of these servicemen and women back into society - giving them jobs and making sure that all the core values that they’ve been taught in services to make them inspirational people.”

The event will feature a wide range of disciplines – including athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball and swimming.

Details: www.invictusgames.org

HRH Prince Harry, founder 
and patron of Invictus Games
HRH Prince Harry, founder and patron of Invictus Games
Prince Harry was inspired to create the Invictus Games following a visit to a similar competition in the US
Prince Harry was inspired to create the Invictus Games following a visit to a similar competition in the US

Tim Jahning and Lisa Tarver, co-founders of One World Futbol

Sport is one of the most effective and
practical ways of planting the seeds of peace

It wasn’t until he had reached the age of 40 that Tim Jahningen had a pivotal, life changing “Aha!” moment. “I was watching a news story about the plight of children in Darfur,” he says. “These acutely traumatized innocents were playing football with a ball of trash. I suddenly sat bolt upright with the complete and unwavering understanding of the fact that these children deserved better than that. I not only wanted to make a ball that would enable them to play, but had a vision for a new type of ball that would play like a soccer ball, but would never go flat.”

Up until his revelation, Jahningen had been involved in a number of different sectors and business ventures – including a career as a concert producer in the music industry. “I spent many years scrubbing, digging, washing, cooking and hammering – fulfilling other people’s dreams and wishes,” he says, and adds that it was his connections in the music world that ultimately made the indestructible ball a reality.

Jahningen had gotten to know the singer Sting personally after being a part of the production family for the artist’s bi-annual Rainforest Fund Concert. Soon after coming up with the indestructible ball idea, Jahningen – alongside wife and business partner Lisa Tarver – mentioned his vision to Sting over breakfast.
“He was telling us how he had just financed the construction of a football pitch in Gaza,” Jahningen says. “I shared my idea for an indestructible soccer ball with him and he immediately offered to cover the R&D costs – providing that I pursue the idea right there and then.”

Sting’s involvement carries on in the ball’s name. “When it came to time decide what this new ball should be called, Sting simply said, “One World”, after his hit of the same name”, says Jahningen. Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, continue to advocate and support the project.  

Jahningen’s wife Lisa says the venture is a mission-driven company focused on the transformative power of play.

“We sell the One World Futbol through a buy one give one model”, she says. “For every ball purchased, we give a second one to an organization using play and sport to teach health awareness, conflict resolution, gender equality and life skills.

“In addition, we partner with corporations, such as Chevrolet, our founding sponsor, which has pledged to donate 1.5m balls over three years.”
So far, more than 850,000 One World Futbols have been shipped across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, reaching an estimated 24 million children.

Tim Jahning and Lisa Tarver,
Tim Jahning and Lisa Tarver,
Tarver and Jahning have worked together on the One World Futbol project
Tarver and Jahning have worked together on the One World Futbol project

Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey

We're able to give people the positive side of the calorie equation

Signs explaining how many calories are burned by taking the stairs instead of the lift will be added to public staircases as part of a government-backed scheme to improve the fitness of UK workers.

The scheme was developed by a Department of Health-funded web start up called StepJockey. Trials at three large office buildings, including the BBC in Manchester, found that signs advertising how many calories you could burn by taking the stairs increased the number of people using them by up to 29 per cent.

“The aim of StepJockey is very simple: mark the built environment for calorie burn in the same way we mark foods for calorie-consumption,” said Helen Nuki, founder of StepJockey. “We’re starting with stairs because stair climbing is classed as a vigorous physical activity and burns more calories than jogging.”
The idea for StepJockey was born when Nuki showed her eight-year-old daughter a packet of biscuits with the calorie and fat content listed, and her daughter asked why labels only ever showed bad things. “In that moment, the idea to label the world for calorie burn was born,” Nuki says. “In doing this we’re able to give the positive side of the calorie equation.”

The service uses an app and website. Users will be able to scan 'smart signs' on the allocated stairways and track the calories they burn over time.
The scheme is based on nudge theory – the idea that positive reinforcement and suggestions can make people change their behaviour. “Because we can't process all the information needed to make every single decision throughout the day, we rely on automatic behaviour to get us through. This behaviour is governed by many factors, a few of these being habit, ease, salience and what we see other people doing,” said Nuki. “We knew that if we wanted to change behaviour we needed something that would be easy for people to do, would have salience (the posters interrupt habits at the point of behaviour), would be for everyone and would give an incentive for people to change.”

Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey
Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey
The StepJockey website allows people to calculate how many calories will be burned by climbing any set of stairs
The StepJockey website allows people to calculate how many calories will be burned by climbing any set of stairs
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