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  • Writer's pictureWhy Sports

Thriving Active Communities - A presentation by Mark Lawrie, CEO at StreetGames

The Why Sports 2023 Conference has once again proven to be a beacon of inspiration and collaboration, bringing together leaders and influencers from the sports and community sectors. Among the impactful presentations, Mark Lawrie, the CEO of StreetGames, took the stage as the host of the Communities session, delivering a compelling 20-minute address that echoed with a sense of urgency and a call to action.

Unveiling the Reality of Poverty in the UK

Throughout the presentation, Mark managed to cut through the noise, focusing on the stark reality faced by numerous communities, families and young people across the UK who find themselves entrenched in the grip of poverty. With a poignant statistic, he highlighted that "1 million children across the UK don't sleep in their own bed." This revelation served as a powerful reminder of the pressing need to address the systemic issues that perpetuate poverty in our society.

"As we approach the colder months, millions of families will be choosing between heating their homes or heating their food."

A Call for Political Change

As the CEO of StreetGames, Mark Lawrie is no stranger to the challenges faced by marginalised communities. His presentation didn't merely shed light on the issues; it was a rallying cry for change at a political level. He underscored the importance of policy shifts and systemic transformations to alleviate poverty and reshape the landscape of the country's public services.

Conversations and Collaboration

This wasn't just a presentation; it was a catalyst for meaningful conversations and collaborations. By bringing the harsh realities of poverty to the forefront, he challenged the conference attendees and the broader community to engage in discussions that go beyond the surface, prompting real, actionable change.

The Role of Sports in Driving Change

As the host of the Communities session, Mark Lawrie also emphasised the pivotal role sports can play in driving change within communities. By harnessing the power of sports programmes and community engagement initiatives, he showcased how we can create positive, lasting impacts on the lives of those affected by poverty.

To create a healthier future, the sports, leisure and physical activity community has a unique opportunity and responsibility to be a force for positive change. It is a call to action for organisations, policymakers and individuals alike to join forces in tackling the root causes of poverty and creating a healthier, more equitable future for all.


As we reflect on the Why Sports 2023 Conference, let Mark Lawrie's impassioned presentation be a driving force behind our collective efforts. Let's use the insights gained to fuel discussions, implement impactful initiatives and work towards a future where no child in the UK goes without a bed. The time for change is now and the sports and activity community can be a leading force in making it happen. Together, let's ignite change and build a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.


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