Sport+ transforming the sport industry

BADU and Loughborough University London are proud to announce a collaborative partnership project called Badu Sport+.

Based on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the Here East campus, both Badu Sports and Loughborough University share the same vision of extending and developing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by enabling the next generation of talent through opportunities and a network of connections. The Sport+  project is centred around making the sports industry visible and accessible to young people in East London and about developing them so they can be a part of the sporting world.

“I have been born, raised and educated in East London.  I know the talent here is amongst the best in the world.” So said Programme Director of Badu Sport+ Olivia Eastwood-Gray.  She continued “Talent drives all industries, yet the sport industry is hidden to so many young people in east London.  Badu Sport+ is aiming to change all that.”

Over 4 million people work in the UK sports industry and this figure is still growing daily.  A recent Sport England report concluded that ‘sport and physical activity contributes £39 billion to the UK’s economy’.  Despite the last six months waking many industries up to the fact that if they only recruit in narrow, non-porous recruitment channels they are damaging their business there is still a great deal to do to improve the sports industry.

 ‘Supported by Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and delivered by Foundation for Future London.’

Olivia Eastwood-Gray continued:

This is where we come in.  Badu Sport+ is kindly  supported by Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and delivered by Foundation for Future London. We (young people of colour, Black young men and women, 16-24year olds who live in the four London growth boroughs) are ready to revolutionise the sports industry.  Together with Badu Sports and Loughborough University London we have created a programme that will use the power of three activities to shake things up.”

The Badu Sport+ programme will offer three interlinked programme sections; See it, Be it and Share it. These will be conducted over an 18 month period focusing on making the sporting industry more visible and accessible. This will be done through:

  • Weekly mentoring sessions
  • Online panels and talks from key figures, Loughborough University London graduates and partners within the industry
  • Visits to key recruiters
  • Professional development and employability sessions
  • Two special 100% tuition fee scholarships to study a postgraduate taught programme
  • Professional media training
  • Building an online community for the Sports Industry to offer opportunities to the great talent that is here in east London

Programme Director of Badu Sport+ Olivia Eastwood-Gray said: 

"I grew up in Hackney and watched the building of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games site.  I now work in one of the buildings that hosted the games and I want to make sure that all those that live in the surrounding boroughs know about how to follow in my footsteps.  The buildings that housed the games are building new opportunities in the Sports Industry.  Whether its eSports, broadcasting, or marketing professional sports clubs and brands - with the talent in these Boroughs, Sport+ really will transform the sports industry.”

Founder and CEO of Badu Sports, Nana Badu, said:

“We strive to build a legacy through the vision of young people by creating a platform that shares knowledge to inform our community of the opportunities available to them and the skills to equip themselves to choose their best journey. This knowledge sharing will empower them to build for themselves and give them access to an opportunity that they deserve and can achieve.

Loughborough and Badu see the gaps as the sports industry has not tapped into their capability or limitless potential; this opportunity is a vehicle to affect change and ensure all young people achieve and thrive.”

Professor Tony Edwards, Dean of Loughborough University London said:

“We are proud to be a part of the community in east London.  The Badu Sport+ programme will connect the great talent that is here to training, education and employment opportunities that can transform lives.  Too many industries are invisible to young people growing up in our community.  Loughborough University London will be using its expertise to open up the sports industry and provide lasting change.  In particular this new programme widens the opportunity for local people to study with us on a 100% tuition fee scholarship. We are hugely excited about the project and the opportunities it provides.”


Notes to Editors:

1. Badu Sport+ will be recruiting in April 2021 – for more information please see

2. Badu Sports focuses on both educational and community development. It uses sport to engage young people, build resilience and aspirations so they can achieve.   It offers positive role models, advice and guidance so that from an early age our young people form positive habits.

3. Loughborough University London is an inspiring postgraduate campus located on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Our students learn from influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators and are engaged with the very latest developments from within their sector.

4. This is the breakdown of what the three interlinked project sections will look like

See it:

  • We, a group of up to 100 young people will go inside the Sports Industry.  We will host online panels, visits to key future recruiters and talks from Loughborough University London graduates from east London now working and changing the sports industry.
  • We will make an inspirational residential visit to the  best university in the world for sports-related subjects Loughborough University(QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017-2021) to meet a range of people working in the sports industry, from athletes and coaches to those using sports science and sports technology.
  • We will host weekly online/in person peer mentoring sessions.  These sessions will feature mentors from Loughborough University London and the sports industry who will lead a group supporting them to set and achieve personal and professional development goals.

Be It:

  • From our base on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park we will offer professional development and employability sessions to prepare our young people for opportunities in the Sports Industry
  • We are offering organisations and companies in the sports industry the chance to offer paid work insight projects to our your people – get in touch if you want to offer one
  • To show off our skills we will run two sports industry ‘Hacks’ to connect organisations to the great problem-solving talent in east London
  • Finally, we will offer two special 100% tuition fee scholarships to study a postgraduate taught programme at Loughborough University Londonand truly prepare participants to change the business of sport

Share it:

  • Our young people won’t keep all this good stuff to themselves.  They will undertake professional media training to support the campaigning and dissemination elements of the programme
  • We are building an online community for the Sports Industry to offer opportunities to the great talent that is here in east London