In addition to being an educator, innovator, advocate, athlete, leader, husband, father, and friend, Eli A. Wolff was also a key member of the team behind the Journal of Sport for Development. It was fitting that someone who helped to establish the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, was also instrumental in the journal’s launch and commitment to advance, examine, and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote development, health and/or peace.
Globally, research relating to sport for reconciliation purposes has largely been framed as part of “sport for development” (SFD) or “sport for development and peace” (SDP). For example, through their research in South Africa, Höglund and Sundberg (2008) highlighted how reconciliation through sport can take place at the national level, largely through symbolic efforts, at the community level through promoting interpersonal relationships, or at the individual level by trying to shift values and beliefs. International research relating to using sport for the purposes of reconciliation has largely focused on the latter two by examining community-based programs or events to bring groups of people together. Within research on sport and reconciliation, the notion of reconciliation is often undefined, or narrowly conceptualized as bringing people together (Schulenkorf, 2010). A potential reason for narrow understandings of reconciliation is that the bulk of research relating to sport and reconciliation is primarily rooted in theories developed from peace studies that focus on conflict resolution and peace building in contexts where conflict is ongoing or recently ended (Lederach, 2005). Reconciliation is therefore primarily understood not as an ongoing process but rather as something to achieve within broader attempts at peace building in post-conflict settings.
The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) was founded in 2012, with the first issue published in early 2013. In light of this ten-year anniversary, we reflect on the current state of the field and highlight important opportunities for strengthening Sport for Development (SFD) knowledge and practice.
We are pleased to announce the fourth annual call for nominations for the “JSFD Early Career Scholar Award,” to be awarded to an early career JSFD author in recognition of significant scholarly contributions to the sport for development field. The winner of the award will be recognized online and in a newsletter shared with all JSFD followers.
The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine, and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote development, health, and/or peace. The JSFD Editorial Board is seeking expressions of interest for the role of Managing Editor until December 13, 2022.
This article investigates community development and social impacts of hosting an international sport event in a post-war city still marred by social divisions and internal conflict. Focusing on the case of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, this research examines resident perceptions of the recurrent Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event. The framework of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) guides this inquiry toward understanding how sport events can help facilitate greater unity and peace in transitional settings experiencing persistent social divisions. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with residents are supported by findings from a resident survey. The findings illustrate how sport events can help to transform communities in line with SDP goals by fostering spaces for social cohesion, generating collective pride, and offering new senses of possibility and opportunity for the city. These outcomes can occur even if the event organization is not explicitly driven by an SDP mission. Perceptions of trust and neutrality are important factors in how community members assess the event and its organizing body. This research highlights the role of international sport events in community development and calls attention to the importance of understanding local context and engaging a broad range of community members.
Research has explored the benefits and challenges associated with sport participation among youth with physical disabilities (YWPD), however few studies have attempted to understand how sport may facilitate or hinder positive development. Positive youth development (PYD) is a widely used approach to understand youth development through sport, however limited research exists among YWPD. To address this gap, the study adopted Holt and colleagues’ (2017) model of PYD through sport to (a) uncover YWPD’s perspectives on the developmental outcomes associated with organized sport participation and (b) understand perceived social-contextual factors influencing these outcomes. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted among YWPD (N = 9; age between 14-21; seven male participants, two female participants). Outcomes discussed were mostly positive, though some participants reported negative outcomes. Participants experienced positive physical, social, and personal outcomes including the development of life skills. Positive outcomes were largely influenced by a sport climate that was supportive and encouraging, facilitated personal growth and athletic development, and promoted a sense of community and connectedness. These findings further our understanding of the utility of organized sport as a context to promote PYD among YWPD, and suggest that fostering experiences of mastery, belonging, challenge, and autonomy may be critically important.
The Journal of Sport for Development is delighted to announce Dr. Mitchell McSweeney has been selected as the 2022 JSFD Early Career Scholar Award recipient. The annual award, established in 2019, recognizes an early career JSFD author in recognition of significant scholarly contributions to the sport for development field.