Last night at the BT Sport Industry Awards Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, introduced the Tessa Jowell Social Impact Award, marking a tribute to the late Baroness Tessa Jowell that will feature at the event from 2020 onwards.
Formerly titled the Social and Sustainable Development Award, and last night won by The Ocean Race, the award is designed to recognise organisations who have delivered an inspirational programme or campaign driving environmental, community or broader social benefits through sport. The renaming of the award will act as tribute to Tessa’s work in community regeneration, extensive charity work and helping to inspire a generation through sport.
Tessa, who was a client of thinkBeyond Talent and who’s career included roles as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister for the Olympics, Minister for Women and Minister for London, sadly passed away in 2018 but left behind a sporting legacy inspired by her role in the successful bid for and delivery of London 2012.
Blair last night said: "We all remember the magnificence of the Olympics and the Paralympics - the greatest sporting event this nation has ever delivered. But truth be told we would never have launched the bid to host the Olympics in 2004 without Tessa. We would never have won the bid without Tessa in 2005 and we would never have had such spectacular Games without Tessa’s leadership and vision.
“But for Tessa the Olympics was never just about bringing home the glory and medals for Britain, though she wanted plenty of both - but about sport and its often colossal and underestimated ability to be a force for good.
“She had a passionate belief that sport, as well as being about fun and fitness, should also be about changing lives. She recognised sport’s unique capability to bring people together across boundaries of race and culture and class. She realised its extraordinary reach, and where politics could divide, sport could often unite.
“Tessa was never happier when at the intersection of sport and the service of others. This award is quintessentially Tessa, it represents her values, symbolises her commitment, marks her exceptional contribution to our country and to its sporting life.”
To find out more about the Sport Industry Awards and the winners from last night please head to the Sport Industry Group website at sportindustry.biz