Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course


Share this free course

Developing employability through sport and physical activity
Developing employability through sport and physical activity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3 Global citizenship

Described image
Figure 4 Football hits the back of the net

Global citizenship refers to the concept of recognising and embracing the interconnectedness of the world and viewing yourself as a member of a global community. It goes beyond national boundaries and emphasises the responsibilities and rights that individuals have as members of the global community. Sport provides people with a global perspective and creates social cohesion though building shared cultures and histories (Thibodeau, 2020). Exposure to international competitions and diverse cultures broadens individuals’ understanding of external influences, promoting a global mindset that is essential in today’s interconnected world.

In the Spotlight

If you are wondering how global citizenship relates to you, here is Leanne’s explanation. Here she discusses inclusivity and how important it has been within her career.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2: Leanne
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Video 2: Leanne
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

There are several examples of famous athletes and coaches who have exemplified global citizenship through their actions in sports, for example:

  • Megan Rapinoe (Football)

    Advocate for gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and social justice. She has used her platform to speak out against discrimination and inequality, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunities for all.

  • Eliud Kipchoge (Athletics)

    Ambassador for causes related to conservation, environmental sustainability, and community development in Kenya, promoting unity and peace, using his sporting success to inspire others and contribute to positive change.

  • Jurgen Klopp (Football)

    Recognised for his humanitarian efforts and commitment to social causes, actively supported charities working on issues such as poverty, homelessness, and education.

  • Yusra Mardini (Swimming)

    Advocate for refugee rights and the plight of displaced individuals. She represented the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and shared her inspiring journey as a refugee.

These athletes and coaches serve as inspiring examples of individuals who have leveraged their prominence in sports to promote global citizenship values, address social issues, and make a positive impact in their communities and beyond. Of course, we appreciate that not everyone has the platform that these individuals have, but this isn’t to say you don’t have capacity to develop global citizenship through your engagement in sport.

Activity 4 Sports united

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

Take some time to consider your own context, i.e., the sport or activity you are involved in, your local club, your local community and answer the following questions:

  1. What actions or initiatives have been taken by either yourself or those within your club to promote global citizenship?
  2. What impact or outcomes have these actions had on individuals, the club, or your local community?
  3. If you can’t think of any examples, perhaps instead you could explore the opportunities within your setting. These don’t have to be ground-breaking societal changes but could be focused more discretely on supporting different perspectives, cultures, or languages within your own immediate environment.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


By engaging in this reflection task, you had the opportunity to recognise and appreciate the impact of your sports experiences on global citizenship development. It hopefully encouraged self-awareness, fostered a sense of responsibility, and motivated you to actively develop this skill through your involvement in sports.

Employers recognise the value of global citizenship as an employability skill because it aligns with the needs of the global marketplace and promotes a diverse and inclusive work environment. It demonstrates an individual’s ability to collaborate across borders, adapt to diverse cultures, and contribute positively to the organization’s global objectives. In the next section you will look at some specific examples of how you could develop your global citizenship through sport.

In the Spotlight

Tune in to George’s reflections on his coaching adventures in another country. Now, don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance to work abroad yourself. Instead, take a moment to ponder how interacting with people from diverse backgrounds can broaden your experiences and help grow your skill set.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video: George
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Video: George
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).