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Darcy Bourne: Creating positive change in her local community

UK Sport | UK Sport

3 min read Partner content

As we move into the Olympic and Paralympic year, we have launched the first in a series of films that will highlight powerful social impact stories across a variety of sports, demonstrating how sport can drive positive, meaningful and lasting change in society.

The first story follows 22-year-old GB Hockey athlete Darcy Bourne from London. Darcy is hugely active in her community where she hopes to use her platform to help diversify the sport, supporting the likes of Spencer Lynx and Hockey Inner City charities which provides hockey coaching for children, making the sport more accessible to those who otherwise couldn’t access it.

Darcy was one of 20 athletes from a range of backgrounds who took part in the Powered by Purpose programme, launched by UK Sport in partnership with The True Athlete Project in 2022. The programme is designed to help funded athletes with the confidence, knowledge and skills to use their platform for social change.

Darcy has been inspirational in initiatives, using her time coaching and working with hockey clubs, Inner City Hockey and Spencer Lynx, which run accessible hockey sessions in London to encourage more opportunities for communities from ethnically diverse backgrounds to get involved in the sport. Alongside this, while studying in the US, she co-founded an initiative called Beyond the Game, a diversity initiative that aims to unite and empower minority communities through sports. Beyond Our Game has hosted multiple free multi-sport camps, and given their success is currently expanding to the UK.

In the film, Darcy talks about her upbringing playing hockey in both the UK and the US, being the only non-white person on most of her teams growing up, how she believes sport can play a huge role in creating change in communities, and how being one team on the sports field can enable people to come together in wider society.

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: ““As we enter this Olympic and Paralympic year, it’s crucial to recognise the immense power of sport to drive positive change. Sport has the ability to inspire and unite our society and this year, more than ever, we have the opportunity as well as the responsibility to provide a platform to brilliant athletes such as Darcy, who want to be a force for good. Darcy has been an incredible ambassador for hockey and sport in general. She has such a powerful story and impactful voice, it’s important we do what we can to support and amplify that.”

Darcy Bourne added: “For me, sport is more than competing, more than fun, more than success, it has the ability to change perceptions and drive real impact. I’ve made it my goal to be as active as I can in the subjects I feel passionately about and would encourage other athletes to do the same - we can be that vehicle to make positive change.

“I've always wanted to go to the Olympic Games and that's still my number one goal. But athletes have this really unique opportunity where the platform they have combined with their voice, power and influence during their career can have such a positive impact. I’m still trying to get to where I want to get to, but the more people I can reach and impact now, the better – it’s only going to grow and I don't want to waste the opportunity.

“And whilst athletes can play a major role in this, we also need to look beyond at the wider team, coaching staff and also governing bodies to ensure that people of colour are represented across the board. This will allow us to make real and long-term change.”

Read the most recent article written by UK Sport - Value of Events Report 2023: £373 million in direct economic impact to the UK

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