ADD2371 Sport Unites: Photojournalism Project

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 September 2019
Decision by: 
Alice Wilcock, Assistant Director of Team London and Sport

Executive summary

Sport Unites is the Mayor’s £8.8m three-year community sport investment programme, designed to help London become the most active and socially integrated city in the world. This programme was approved under cover of MD2244, along with the delegated authority to approve detailed expenditure under the cover of further decisions.

The photojournalism project – ‘Diversity Through a Sports Lens’ – aligns with the third theme of Sport Unites ‘workforce, tech and capacity building’. This decision seeks approval to enter into a funding agreement of up to £50,000 with the Young Brent Foundation to deliver the project.


That the Assistant Director of Team London & Community Sport approves:

Expenditure of up to £50,000, by way of grant funding, to Young Brent Foundation to fund delivery of the photojournalism project ‘Diversity through a sports lens ‘, from the Team London and Community Sport budget (£40,000 in 2019-20 and £10,000 in 2020-21).

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Sport Unites is the Mayor’s £8.8 three-year community sport investment programme designed to help London become the most active and socially integrated city in the world. The programme, approved under MD2244, launched in March 2018 and is structured as follows:

• Theme one: Sport for Social Integration;
• Theme two: Active Londoners; and
• Theme three: Workforce, Tech and Capacity Building.

Also approved within MD2244 was delegated authority to approve detailed expenditure proposals and delivery of themes two and three.

The photojournalism project aligns with the workforce, tech and capacity building theme (theme three) of Sport Unites. Specifically, it will contribute to the Mayor’s strategic objectives set out in Sport for All of Us to train, develop, reward and recognise the community sport workforce in London, by:

• developing the technical photojournalistic skills of young Londoners from a range of backgrounds, with a special emphasis on under-represented groups (including, but not limited to, the LGBTQ+ community and women and girls);
• providing unique access to professional-standard work experience at London’s major sporting events; and
• affording wider educational, training and employment opportunities for young beneficiaries through engagement with the wider Sport Unites community investment programme.

The photojournalism project is also aligned with the Mayor’s Major Sports Events Engagement Fund as approved under cover of MD2353. This £905,000 fund is aligned with the objectives of Sport Unites and supports delivery of community projects associated with major sports events taking place in London. This project will specifically crossover with Major Sports Event Engagement Fund ‘Diversification of Sports Media’ project in partnership with Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) which is working with 40 young people, providing expert advice and training from sports journalists as well as opportunities through The FA to practice these skills across the EURO 2020 event and fan zones. This is part of the wider One London 2020 programme, the Mayor’s community engagement programme of activities associated with the Euro 2020 football tournament that aims to ensure as many Londoners as possible are positively impacted by the build-up to and during the event. It is intended that beneficiaries of the two projects will partner together at events, with shared learning between and across the respective project cohorts.
Photojournalism: ‘Diversity through a sport lens’

The diversity of London is often not reflected in Sports Media. While participants in elite-level sport are largely diverse, there is an under-representation of women, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled individuals in its coverage. Images and stories about people from diverse communities are often portrayed by journalists and photographers in a way that highlights the conscious and unconscious bias of those who are in positions to make, commission, edit and report.

The Young Brent Foundation, an independent umbrella body committed to building a diverse and vibrant network and youth voluntary sector, will be the main delivery partner on the project. The Young Brent Foundation played an instrumental role in the initial pilot project that ‘Diversity Through a Sports Lens’ will build on. During the pilot study it was recognised that diverse athletes were more likely to interact and engage with the young diverse photographers who were more representative themselves. This resulted in the production of images and stories that went beyond the athlete-photographer relationship and gave the young diverse photographers a feeling of acceptance in an industry they had only ever perceived from the outside, resulting in an increase of diverse representation in the images they captured.

As with the pilot, ‘Diversity Through a Sports Lens’ is designed to challenge the current under representation of diversity in sports media and photojournalism by testing further the premise that if you equip young people from broad and diverse communities with image capturing and story-making skills, it can change the narrative in the images and stories to be more reflective of diversity. The Young Brent Foundation will be working with a range of external organisations to expand the reach across London such as Notting Hill Genesis; and to ensure we reach our target audience across London.

The photojournalism project will recruit up to 36 young Londoners (between the ages of 14-19 and 19-25 years old) from a range of backgrounds, with a special emphasis on under-represented groups (including, but not limited to, the LGBTQ+ community and women and girls)

All participants will develop and learn the technical and practical skills that can lead them towards a career into sports photojournalism and/or sports media, particularly from a creative standpoint. This will be achieved through:

• the delivery of a graduated programme of weekly photojournalism and multimedia immersive sessions, tailored to different entry points in terms of participant age and skills/previous experience; and
• access to professional work experience at London’s major sporting events.

To monitor and evaluate (M&E), the project will be filmed from start to finish to capture qualitative information and insight on the participants of the project. This documentary style M&E will show the participant journey from recruitment to exit point, gathering the views on their involvement and the impact it has had on them and diversity in the sports media. The project will also embark on entry and exit surveys along with a pared-down version of the Edinburgh Warwick mental health survey to help identify changes in well-being through participation and engagement. The exhibition of participants’ creative work will also be a valuable barometer to the value and success of the project.

The project will receive match funding of a total £15,000 from three partners who will also support in the recruitment of suitable beneficiaries to the project across London:

• Notting Hill Genesis Housing - £5,000
• Kings Park Moving Together - £5,000
• Young Hackney - £5,000

There will also be in-kind support given to access major sports training facilities and events.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The overall aim of the project is to give young Londoner’s the technical skills, practical experiences and a range of access opportunities to sporting events/projects, empowering them to tell stories with a more diverse and critical perspective and supporting them into a career in sports photojournalism and sports media.

Project objectives:

• recruit up to 36 young Londoner’s from diverse backgrounds (anticipated to be split into two cohorts across the ages of 14-18 and 19-25);
• increase participants technical, creative and production skills in photography and digital media;
• provide opportunities to work in a professional sporting environment with access to at least one major sporting event in London during the project; together with further opportunities for coverage of wider community sport projects in London; and
• create a repository of images that which can be used by event owners, key sporting partners and stakeholders, and other Sport Unites-funded projects to assist in the communication and representation of sport for social integration.

Project outputs:

• 18 to 36 young Londoners to participate, split across the ages of 14-18 and 19-25 and recruited from diverse communities with an emphasis on women and girls, and on LGBTQ+ communities;
• 3 cohorts of up to 12 young Londoners over the year;
• up to 46 hours of tutor contact time (per cohort);
• 6 volunteer industry professionals assigned across the project lifetime to perform as mentors;
• attendance to a minimum of one major sporting event taking place in London; and
• minimum of 3 photo display opportunities across the year; plus each beneficiary completing the project with a portfolio of images to support their future careers.

Project outcomes:

• increased technical skills of young Londoners in sports photography and digital media. They will be competent with photographic equipment from digital SLR cameras, through to image and film making with phones and tablets, as well as image manipulation software such as Photoshop or Lightbox;
• increased ability to tell a story and communicate through a single image or range of images;
• increased confidence and self-esteem of young Londoners to communicate and engage with athletes and other sports media professionals which help capture their images; and
• improved access to professional employment opportunities in the sports media industry.

Equality comments

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as public authorities, the GLA are subject to a public-sector equality duty and must have ‘due regard’ to the need to (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and (iii) foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (all except the last being “relevant” protected characteristics).

Equal opportunities are enshrined within the Sport Unites programme and, by extension, the workforce programme, which will provide opportunities for both current and potential members of London’s community sport workforce –both traditional and non-traditional, paid and volunteer. For this project this will be achieved by providing access to training and development to diverse Londoners, which will in turn broaden representation of diverse Londoners in the media.

This project also delivers the possibility of being part of a distinct workforce to groups of Londoners who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. This will advance equality of opportunity between persons of mixed socioeconomic statuses, who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities.

The Sport Unites programme is being monitored/measured by a third party who has been contracted to provide independent monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the programme. This will include the workforce programme. In particular this M&E looks into the social integration measures of the programme, all of which advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues:








Recruitment and retention difficulty in engaging and retaining the young Londoners from the demographics.  

Mitigated by working with specialised external partners who have regular access to young people to deliver the recruitment, as well as a positive track record with engaging young people through the pilot study  





Lack of willingness amongst National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and/or international organisations to give young participants access to training and events for the project.  

Interest in the project already evidenced in the pilot study. The GLA Community Sport Team have already been working with Major Sports Events on access and opportunities to link in with the Mayor’s calendar of sporting events.





Duplication of this project with BCOMS ‘Diversification of Sports Media’.

It has been agreed with BCOMS that we will partner up participants from the two cohorts to work collaboratively to capture the event and athlete stories together (i.e. through images and written stories) to avoid repetition. 





Young people will be working with a range of stakeholders across the project which raises safeguarding risks.

Appropriate safeguarding in place for all organisations and individuals working with young participants




Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £50,000 in grant funding to be awarded to the ‘Young Brent Foundation’.

This will be profiled as £40,000 in 2019-20 (consisting of £35,000 from the Sport Unites Programme budget, and £5,000 from the Major Sports Events Community Engagement Fund budget), and £10,000 from the Sport Unites Programme budget in 2020-21.

Activity table



Complete funding agreement

September 2019

Project setup and recruitment of first cohort

October 2019

Delivery Start Date

October 2019

Recruitment of second cohort

November 2019

Boxing European Continental Qualifier – Copperbox Arena

March 2020

Recruitment of third cohort

March 2020

Final evaluation start and finish (external)

May 2020

Delivery End Date

May 2020

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