Impact Investing Tribute #8: To the pioneers of Social Impact Bonds in sports and fitness
In September I spent 10 days as a volunteer tennis coach to children with “Tennis for All Uganda” and their partner organizations including Hope for Katanga Kids in the Katanga Slum. I was particularly struck by a t-shirt worn by several kids that said “Stop War-Start Tennis”.
There are very impactful existing and emerging tennis initiatives like this in an increasing number of developing countries that also focus on education and important life and marketable skills.
But just as in every other area with great social needs and not enough philanthropic or government support open questions exist as to what role(s) different forms of social impact bonds might play? In funding the active participation of otherwise marginalized youth to play tennis or other sports, great potential exists in linking the support for the programs to other outcomes through additional skills development Several UN SDGs can be targeted here.
And what about new models to invest in elite amateur sports and tie outcomes to supporting fitness initiatives for older citizens - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - through sharing healthcare cost savings?
It will be interesting to see what SIB instruments will be developed for sports and fitness in the years to come.