What is the Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity? 

  • The Global Design Challenge is an event which gives participants the unique opportunity to find solutions to the challenges faced in sport and physical activity as a result of Covid-19.
  • We invite teams to take part in a FREE contest to find the best ideas, globally.
  • The Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity is set in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals following the Kazan Action Plan (2017):

    • Developing a comprehensive vision of inclusive access for all to sport, physical education and physical activity
    • Maximising the contributions of sport to sustainable development and peace
    • Protecting the integrity of sport


  • Team Entries: The event will take place over the weekend of 26th – 29th June 2020. Teams will work together to develop their ideas and submit them online on Devpost to Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity
  • Judging: An international panel of judges will filter the entries to select the top 50 and then carry out a refined selection of the 15 best entries.
  • Scoring: Entries will be scored under the following criteria: 
    1. originality/creativity (20%);
    2. innovation (20%);
    3. analytical skills (10%);
    4. strategic thinking (20%)
    5. practical implementation (20%)
    6. alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (10%).
  • Pitching: The 15 winning teams will be invited to “pitch” their ideas to a group of sports organisations, investors, and other experts who will assess how to turn the ideas into reality.
  • Incubation: Teams that are successful at pitching stage will be provided with an opportunity to incubate and develop their idea.
  • Matching: All entries submitted will be visible to the Organisers, who may initiate further interaction with any team to explore the possibility of developing their idea.

Who is involved and who can enter?

  • The challenge is being run by a network of sporting organisations in Ireland and internationally: UCC Sport, Sport Ireland, Cork Local Sports Partnership, Cappanlea National Centre for Outdoor Education and Training, and the Federation of Irish Sport, International Sport and Culture Organisation (ISCA), The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA), TACTHUB, APO Group, The Rugby Site, Sport for Life Canada, EUPEA, CEREPS, AIESEP, UNESCO Chair for Physical Activity and Health in Educational Settings (University of Basel, Switzerland), and UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Sport, (IT Tralee, Ireland), with the support of UNESCO and Devpost.
  • The challenge is open to anyone around the world who has a passion for sport, physical activity, or just likes a challenge. There is no limit to the number of members in a team. The more diverse the background, skills and expertise in the team the better. The team member registering must be aged 18 or over. Individuals can register and use the Devpost site to link with potential partners to form a team.

All registered teams will receive FREE support:

  • They will be invited to a preliminary one-hour FREE Workshop on Design Thinking led by internationally recognised expert, Dr Fiona Chambers of University College Cork, Ireland.
  • Judie Russell, Founder and Mobile Video Coach at The Vidacademy, will provide FREE learning resources to help teams to design their pitch.
  • You can gain access to these videos in the "To Do" section of this page. 

Prize: A chance for your project to be incubated and piloted in one of our partner organisations and to be supported in applying for targeted funding to scale it.

When does the event take place?

  • Teams will have 72 hours to generate and submit their ideas, from the 26th to 29th of June. Once all ideas are submitted the judging and matching process will take place.

What about Intellectual Property?

  • All right and title to any Intellectual Property contained in an entry rests with the submitting team.

How can we keep up to date with news on the event?


If you have any further queries about the event please email the event team at: Sport@UCC.ie




  • There are no restrictions on eligibility to participate in the GDCSPA with the exception that the team member registering must be aged 18 or over.


  • This is a global event, participants from all over the world are encouraged to enter! 


  • There's no limit on team size, as big or small as you want. Individuals may register and use this site to connect with potential team members.


  • We encourage participants to seek teammates who can bring diverse viewpoints and contributions to the challenge.



Submissions should answer the question:

  • How might we sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not-so-young, for participants, spectators, fans and community groups, so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable – and fun! – during the pandemic and afterwards?

The ideas can be: 

  • As big or small as you like.
  • Targeted at specific age groups or ability levels, and at the different ways in
    which people interact with sport and physical activity, but must not be discriminatory.

Your submission:

  • Should be a one page PDF, Word Doccument or Zip File outlining your concept in detail. 
  • Can include links to videos or external sites for further explanation.
  • Should not exceed 10MB.


Hackathon Sponsors


Overall Winner

The top 9 submissions will be shortlisted for the overall winner prize. All projects will be brought forward to the Matchathon event. In the Matachaton potential partners will view the projects where ideas can be supported through the incubation phase.

Matchathon & Incubation (36)

Some ideas will be given the opportunity during the period of matching and incubation to pair up with our global partners, allowing you to turn your idea into a reality.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Dr Fiona Chambers

Dr Fiona Chambers
Secretary General AIESEP | Co-founder EERA Network 18 | Head of the School of Education UCC

Poonam Balan

Poonam Balan

Anirban Bhattacharya

Anirban Bhattacharya
Founder UBQT Design School | Co-founder The Painted Sky

Phil Connolly

Phil Connolly
CEO The Rugby Site

Martin Creaner

Martin Creaner
Telecoms Industry Expert

Gaëtan Garcia

Gaëtan Garcia
Communications, Marketing & PR Manager TAFISA

Jackie Lauff

Jackie Lauff
CEO Sport Matters

Cormac Mac Donnell

Cormac Mac Donnell
Innovation and EU Funding Manager – Sport Ireland

Sascha Preis

Sascha Preis

Judging Criteria

  • Originality (10%)
    Does the submission stand out from the crowd?
  • Creativity (10%)
    Does the project show creative thinking in design and presentation?
  • Innovation - Key Idea (10%)
    Is the underlying idea behind the project innovative?
  • Innovation - Concept (10%)
    What challenge is your innovation for sport project addressing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • Analytical Skills (10%)
    Did the team incorporate existing data and/or research and/or user feedback and/or the results of pilot studies in the project?
  • Strategic Thinking - Scalability (10%)
    Is the proposed solution scalable?
  • Strategic Thinking - Relevance (10%)
    Will the solution have relevance to the foreseeable future?
  • Practical Implementation - Planning (10%)
    Has the team clearly identified a plan to futureproof the project?
  • Practical Implementation - Established Frameworks (10%)
    Has the project utilised well established frameworks for implementation and evaluation?
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (10%)
    Does the project identify the SDGs to which this project contributes and its expected impact on these?

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