Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee of London 2012, has been confirmed as the latest name to join the line-up of speakers at the Doha GOALS Forum on December 10-12. Coe – himself a dual Olympic gold medallist – will speak on sport’s role as an agent of social change.
Doha GOALS – Gathering of All Leaders In Sport – is a new initiative designed as a “Call to Action” for the role that sport plays as a driver for social and economic change. It was created under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and was launched during the Olympics.
The aim of the initiative is to build a community of hundreds of key influencers from all areas who believe that sport is a crucial vehicle for nation building and development. Most importantly, the forum is designed to deliver tangible action items, such as the launching of a Global Student Ambassador programme for youth leaders from all around the world, and a global NGO to help underprivileged children.
Coe led London’s bid to host the Olympics, building on his experience as a politician – he was a Member of Parliament and Private Secretary to William Hague, who was leader of the Conservative Party in Britain – and as an athlete.
On the track Coe set 12 world records over four distances, achieving four gold and three silver medals in the Olympics and European Championships. He also led the successful bid for London to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, and is also Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Coe joins a list of sporting greats already confirmed to speak at the event. The list includes athletics legend and multi-Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis; Oscar Pistorius, the first ever Paralympian to compete at an Olympic Games; rugby World Cup-winning captain Francois Pienaar and multiple Olympic gold medallist, swimmer Mark Spitz.
Participants from more than 45 countries have already registered to be a part of the inaugural Forum.
The Doha GOALS initiative, from the Aspire Zone Foundation and Richard Attias & Associates, will bring together a community of policymakers and government officials, heads of business, athletes, NGOs and students to build a roadmap for addressing social challenges through sport.
Sheikh Faisal Al Thani, Executive Director of Doha GOALS, said: “We are delighted Lord Coe will be sharing some of his insight in Doha. His background is both in politics and sport which makes him very relevant with the issues we will address, and the initiatives we hope to create together as a community.”
Co-founder Richard Attias, the former producer of the World Economic Forum in Davos, said: “Lord Coe’s role in ensuring that the goals of London 2012 continue to be met, long after the Olympic flame was extinguished, will be invaluable to the Doha GOALS community, which is coming together to deliver change through sport.”