GIRSO's mission

GIRSO aims to do good and build stronger communities through and in sport through an interdisciplinary research and education approach. GIRSO's award-winning researchers and scholars, known throughout the world, are committed to building responsible sport organizations. 

Our impact

Through its research and educational programming, GIRSO has made an impact locally and globally. 

Addressing diversity in hockey in Minnesota

GIRSO partnered with Minnesota Hockey to host a Social Innovation in Sport Competition that saw University of Minnesota students work collaboratively with the organization to seek solutions to the problemm of diversity in hockey. Through this collaboration, Minnesota Hockey identified a series of structural barriers families of color face as they consider youth hockey as an option for their children. Following the conclusion of this project, Minnesota Hockey has invested in the hiring of a DEI & Girls Growth Manager. 

Sport and refugee communities

According to the United Nations, 1 out of every 88 people in the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Those forcibly displaced often face limited access to health services, social and economic exclusion, and have limited opportunities to integrate into their host communities. There is a dire need to find ways for refugees to experience a sense of normalcy in order to promote recovery and healing from the traumatic experience of displacement.

In a project led by GIRSO's Dr. McSweeney, the impact of using sport to aid in this integration process was explored among refugees in Uganda. Results from this project helped secure a $10 million ICONIQ Impact Award that has been used to launch a range of programs designed to support displaced persons.