7th Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development

Event date: 04 April 2023, 14:00 - 16:00
A girl playing volleyball

The Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, will host its 7th annual Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development on 4 April.

The debate – a seminal event marking the 2023 International Day of Sport for Development and Peace - will offer a platform for Commonwealth government officials, young people, athletes, academics, civil society and the private sector to take part in an important conversation examining key issues impacting sports across the Commonwealth’s 56 countries.

Commonwealth experts in two high-profile panels will debate the proposition that: ‘A compassionate sports sector should enable the charge for a healthy mind, body and planet’.

The debate will enable conversations around the use of sports to address climate change, and how sports can take more of a leading role in tackling physical and mental health issues across the Commonwealth. It is hosted during the Year of Youth which aims to put youth issues at the centre of the global agenda and give young people a platform on a series of high-profile events in 2023.

Debating teams

Arguing for the motion:

  • Hon. Bakary Y. Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports, The Gambia

  • Melissa Wilson, Co-Founder of Athletes of the World

  • Claire Poole, Founder and CEO of Sport Positive

  • Dr Walker Ross, Lecturer, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh

Arguing against the motion:

  • Dr Ellen Barnie Peprah, Physician & Coordinator of the Commonwealth Health Youth Network
  • Dr William Bird, General Practitioner and CEO of Intelligent Health
  • Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at Mind
  • Professor Corinne Reid, Professorial Fellow with the Global Health Academy and the Academy of Sport, University of Edinburgh

Watch the full debate


For further details, please contact the Commonwealth Sport for Development and Peace team

Learn more about last year’s debate

About Year of Youth

Media contact

  • Amy Coles  Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • E-mail