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Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard confident of active future for London

London’s Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard predicted a bright future for physical activity and sport in the capital during her address at Active London on Tuesday (10 September).

The Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility & Community Engagement was one of the keynote speakers at the annual conference which focused on innovation in physical activity and sport in the capital and beyond.

Focusing her address on sport’s power to empower communities and boost opportunities for Londoners, the Deputy Mayor detailed City Hall’s commitment to innovation and the £8.8m Sport Unites programme, which sits at the core of the Mayor of London’s strategy for Physical Activity and Sport, Sport for All of Us.

Dr Weekes-Bernard said:

“I’m excited for what the future holds, and I’m more confident now than ever that, through sport, we can achieve remarkable things right here in London.

“I look forward to seeing our work collectively grow, reach more of the Londoners that need it the most, and accelerate its ability to improve the lives of people across our great city.

“We have a long-standing commitment to innovation and finding new ways to make our efforts go further and achieve a deeper impact for Londoners.”

Following the Deputy Mayor, Active London saw an engaging address from Sam Francis and Henry Gaspard exploring Model City London – a joint project between the Mayor, Laureus Sport for Good and Nike.

Francis delivered a personal account around building trust within her community in North London as well as how she learned to use the project to support the area’s physical activity capacity needs.

Earlier, Active London saw James Delaney, MD of Blockworks and a Director of the Block by Block Foundation, demonstrate the ground-breaking ways that Minecraft is being used by development agencies in developing communities across the world to empower community input to urban regeneration and revitalisation programmes.

The urban agenda was picked up again after lunch with a pair of workshops alongside StreetGym, Essex Cricket in the Community, Tennis Factory, PlayInnovation and Street Space.

The workshop investigated where sport can fit into London’s built environment and whether planning and urban development can do more to encourage great levels of physical activity.

Innovation and activity were also explored through afternoon workshops around community development, esports and digital storytelling, and segmentation research and digital marketing.

More than 200 delegates attended the event at 30 Euston Square as the capital’s physical activity and sport sector was brought together at London Sport’s annual stakeholder conference for the fourth year running.

Tove Okunniwa, Chief Executive of London Sport, said:

“Active London offered a fantastic opportunity to share some of the great work that’s taking place across London, but also to gain new inspiration from experts working here in the capital.

“I am confident that, moving forward, we will all be able to find new ways to make a real difference to the lives of the people across London that need it the most.”


  • Sport


  • innovation
  • tove okunniwa
  • london sport
  • active london
  • mayor of london


  • Greater London


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