'The Hub' is a collection of articles, opinion-pieces and resources in support of and contextualising the work of Harper Performance CIC in tackling inequality in sport and in the support of sportspeople from disadvantaged communities across the Global South. We also run a free-to-access book club where our team of expert practitioners recommend books that they've read in relation to our projects.
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"The way in which Harper Performance runs its projects in the developing world is absolutely spot on." LESLIE & TACHI YAMADA Former President of the Global Health Programme at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
We seek an global sporting landscape where anyone with the required level of talent coupled with a genuinely aspirational mindset can strive to reach the very top of their sport of discipline on an equal footing to anyone else, whoever they are, wherever they come from and whatever their background.
Harper Performance CIC will be a global force and a partner of choice for sports organisations, team and individual athletes from disadvantage who aspire to compete on the world stage.
Harper Performance CIC will be known everywhere for our unshakable commitment to the idea of a ‘level playing field’ - a notion that should underpin sport across the planet - that access to sporting excellence, as a form of expression and as the purest form of human endeavour is nothing short of a human right.
The mission of Harper Performance CIC is to strive to become the go-to consultancy to deliver performance transformation for aspirational, high performance organisations, clubs and individual athletes with limited resources, and to those hamstrung by logistical, financial and socio-cultural challenges.
Harper Performance CIC fiercely champions the underdog to genuinely compete with the very best by providing accessible, relevant, and sustainable performance-support consultancy to some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised athletes on the planet.
We believe the barriers to sporting excellence can be overcome through effective, totally bespoke and locally-driven innovation when supported by up-to-date evidence based theory, practice based experience and proven delivery mechanisms.
Harper Performance CIC exists to build capacity, not reliance; to complement, not takeover. Our approach to performance-support is to deliver sustainable consultancy to develop interventions that can flourish and self-sustain long after we’ve gone home.
Our approach is underpinned by the concept of ‘Kanju’.
Kanju is simply a ‘specific form of creativity born from African difficulty’. It is a rule breaking informal and super-agile ethos that makes it possible to just get things done in the face of contact obstacles, headaches, failing infrastructure, corruption and a dogmatic and bureaucratic banking system.
Kanju is a the very heart of our mission at Harper Performance CIC. As Dayo Olopade contends; “one of the biggest problems with the world’s longtime orientation toward [the developing world] is a preference for interactions between governments; or between gigantic formal institutions, when the most vibrant, authentic and economically significant interactions are between individuals and decentralised groups.
Our mission is not to transplant the high performance sport systems of Western Europe, Australia or the USA to the organisations we work with in the developing world. Instead we utilise the expertise of the small and agile HP Projects team to foster Kanji-Style free-form development in these disadvantage, deprived and marginalised athletic communities.
Ownership of the performance-support systems of those we work with remain in the locality with out team consulting to plug skills-gaps, provide expertise in the same way we would with a client in the developed world, and help facilitate the development of a locally-driven solution to develop sporting excellence.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Whilst the concept of ‘Kanju’ underpins all that we do, our HP Projects team are further guided by a series of working principles. By these principles, we hold ourselves accountable for enacting behaviours consistent with them, and ask others to help us do so, not only in our consulting services, but also in all that we do.
Principle 1: Locally Driven Empowerment
We stand in solidarity with athletes and teams from disadvantaged, deprived and marginalised communities and support their efforts to take control of their sporting destiny. We ensure that local athletes, coaches and support personnel are involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our services.
Principle 2: Sustainability & Relevance
By acting to identify and address underlying barriers to sporting excellence in collaboration with local partners, we develop and use approaches that ensure our support is regenerative and relevant by design, which result in lasting and fundamental improvements in the performance-support provisions available to local athletes.
We actively seek ways to be held accountable to athletes hamstrung by logistical, financial and sociocultural barriers to sport excellence. We identify individuals, organisations and sporting bodies with an obligation to support the athletes we support and encourage their efforts to fulfil their responsibilities.
Principle 4: Partnership
We work with others in the locality to maximise the impact of our services, building alliances and partnerships with those who offer complementary approaches, services and products or are able to help enact our approaches on a larger scale.