The start of 2016 marks the final countdown until the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

We’re therefore excited to announce we’ll be running a unique 2-3 week ‘one-off’ programme this coming July 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, for aspiring social changers who are passionate about sport and community development.

The Rio 2016: Inspiration Programme will give participants the opportunity to see first-hand the sport and community development projects that are determined to create legacy and impact in 2016, and demonstrate how sport can be used to breakdown barriers and encourage positive social change in communities.

The programme will include:

  • Visits to the sports development projects across Rio who are aiming to create the legacy of the games
  • Workshops in social entrepreneurship, ideation, problem solving & ‘how to start up a sport-for-good project’, NGO/non-profit or social enterprise
  • Learning about how the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are making a positive impact on Rio de Janeiro and Brazil
  • Co-working space to develop your own ideas for social change back home
  • Mentors and likeminded people to share skills and ideas with
  • Playing sport with young people, marginalised groups and grassroots sports development NGOs & non-profits
  • Experiencing the food, culture, dancing and grassroots sport loved by Brazilians and Cariocas!


Whilst there has been a lot of focus on whether Rio will be ready in time for the Games in August and whether the city’s infrastructure will be able to support hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world, legacy and impact are topics that will a lot more attention as the Games draw closer.

Sadly there have been many stories in the press around the human effected impact of the Games, such as forced evictions for people living in the favela communities situated near or on sites earmarked for Rio 2016 development. Preparations for the Games have also drawn attention to issues around pollution and waste, threatening Rio’s proud reputation as the ‘cidade maravilhosa’ or the ‘wonderful city’.

Whilst the social and environmental issues facing the city in the lead up to the Olympic Games are vast and complex it’s not all doom and gloom – out of it has come vast inspiration for a range of sport and community development projects that set out to address these challenges head on.

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Would you like to be involved & #JoinUs?

The Rio 2016: Inspiration programme will give participants the chance to connect with the very projects who are using sport and community development as a tool to engage and empower marginalised communities. These projects bring people together, and provoke social change both in yourselves and others.

Our new programme will also provide a platform for idea generation and career development for those who want to explore the possibility of setting up their own social project or business linked to sport or community development back home.

Interested applicants or those interested in sports for development, also have the opportunity to help co-design the programme with _SocialStarters by sharing their feedback on a quick survey. Deadline for the survey 30th January.

Alternatively confirm your expression of interest with the _Social Starters team now!

EXPRESS INTEREST by emailing and putting INSPIRATION PROGRAMME in the subject heading. Recruitment opens for this incredible new programme on 1st February 2016. There will be only 6 places available and you will need to apply through our formal application process. More details, such as Programme Fee, to be provided once you express interest.