Every individual across the globe has been, and continues to be, impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Sport for Development (SfD) is a field of work that relies predominantly on in-person, face-to-face, high contact programming. SfD’s work, therefore, was significantly strained due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. This study compiled interviews with administrators in 10 South African based SfD organizations, assessing how they innovated and adjusted to the pandemic, as well as which strategies best helped them successfully manage change. Major findings include a need for collaboration among SfD organizations, a strong focus on creativity and innovation in the field, and a need for organizations to balance structure and flexibility to allow responsiveness to changing needs. These strategies should be integrated as a focus within SfD beyond the pandemic, as they are long-term success strategies that will allow SfD organizations to be prepared for future pivotal decision points in their lifespans.
Category archives for Sport and Education
Sport-based positive youth development (PYD) programs are recognized as important contexts for promoting life skill development and transfer, especially among socially vulnerable youth. Past research has examined the role of social agents (e.g., coaches, staff, parents) in life skill development and transfer. Although peers are identified as a critical social agent in sport-based PYD contexts, little English-speaking literature has examined the influence of peers on youth’s life skill outcomes. This study examines multiple peer influences contributing to life skill outcomes among 483 youth involved in a sport-based PYD program. Cohen’s d demonstrated improved self-control, effort, teamwork, social competence, and transfer of learning outcomes from pre- to post-program. Using a series of hierarchical linear regression models, results demonstrate the degree of life skills among peers in one’s group, the youth’s relative life skills within their group, and the number of friends in one’s group predicted life skills scores at posttest after controlling for pretest scores and demographics. These findings point to the importance of peers as significant social influences contributing to youth’s life skill outcomes in a sport-based PYD program. Sport practitioners can intentionally promote youth development through facilitated group processing, optimal peer group composition, and autonomy supportive staff practices.
Adolescent girls of color experience systemic and interpersonal risk factors that intersect on the basis of their race, gender, and age. These risks negatively influence their rates of obesity, engagement in physical activity, and overall health and well-being. Sport-based positive youth development (PYD) programs are known to address risks and build protective factors, yet little is known about how these programs specifically impact adolescent girls of color. This mixed method study examines the impact of a sport-based PYD summer camp on the holistic health of adolescent girls of color. We conducted nine qualitative interviews and compared changes in mean scores on pre- and post-camp survey measures for 35 adolescent girls of color. In our findings, we identify underlying program mechanisms and design components that influenced girls’ experiences, participation, and engagement. Further, we describe positive changes reported by girls in relation to their physical, social, psychological, and spiritual health and well-being. We also present an emergent theory of change to serve as a guide for how sport-based PYD programs can be leveraged to address intersectional health and well-being outcomes among adolescent girls of color.
This study expands the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) research focusing on the impact of national values and ideas on SDP program implementation. As SDP interns are instrumental in implementing many SDP programs, it is important to identify how their national values and ideas affect their work in the field. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of Americans who had worked as SDP interns. Through the lens of Americanization, we examine the reproduction and distribution of values and ideas of American SDP interns working abroad. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 former American SDP interns to explore their perspectives and reflections on the work they carried out as American SDP interns. Throughout the interviews, American ideas rooted in neoliberalism, capitalism, and education appeared as conceptual influences that were woven into their SDP internship experience. The findings indicated that, in their role as American SDP interns, the participants were at once complicit in and resistant to reproducing inequitable power relations, constantly wrestling with personal ideologies and American sporting values that did not align with cultural and social norms of the host countries. Implications of this study emphasize the continued need for SDP analyses to identify and critically consider nation-specific values and ideas of SDP workers and their impact on the local implementation of SDP programs.
Participatory Evaluation (PE) has been adopted as a methodology in Sport for Development (SFD); however, there is a wide scope of conceptualizing how and what a PE research process may entail. Specifically, more nuance and insight are needed regarding how PE is a formidable research process between SFD researcher and SFD organizational staff. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the organic and planned methodological processes of conducting a PE. Hence, this study provides empirical insight into conducting a PE with an SFD project located in Vietnam. Drawing from my fieldwork, I detail the initiation of the PE, the process of establishing methods, data collection, data analysis, and results, and then comment on the researcher-to-practitioner tensions that arose. The data highlights that while participatory research (PE in this case) is increasing, there are processual considerations and limitations that need to be accounted for in the field. Inasmuch, this paper adds to pertinent methodological discussions by providing an in-depth account of PE research in SFD practice.
Education is regarded as a human right and fundamental to achieving other human rights, such as decent work. Education is essential for developing human potential, and it can help address growing social and economic inequality. However, for many Indigenous populations in the global North, realizing their fullest potential thorough mainstream education is mired with difficulties, and this has had serious implications for employability and livelihoods creation. This paper presents research undertaken in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) where the Taranaki Rugby Football Union (TRFU) has partnered with local education provider Feats to establish the Māori and Pasifika Rugby Academy (MPRA). The purpose of the partnership is to provide an alternative education pathway to increase livelihoods opportunities. Undertaking a capital and livelihoods analysis of the TRFU and Feats partnership has allowed us to see more clearly different aspects of the MPRA program and bring to the fore other features of the learners’ journeys. While the building of human capital through education is important, of greater significance is the cultural and psychological capital that is built through program attendance.
The collaborative development and delivery of “plus sport” employment training programs are promising strategies to increase work readiness, life skills, and employment among youth facing barriers to positive development in a North American urban context. Three programs developed and delivered at MLSE LaunchPad, a large urban sport for development facility in Toronto, Canada, provide a precedent for further implementation and study of collaborative programs that incorporate intentionally designed sport activities into a youth employment program. Strategic codevelopment and codelivery of “plus sport” programs with collaborative community partners and a mixed funding model involving professional sport organizations, charitable foundations, corporate partners, individual donors, and various levels of government are recommended to maximize sustainability and impact. Learnings to date at MLSE LaunchPad point to several key programming components for the successful delivery of youth sport for development employment training in a context of high youth unemployment rates disproportionately impacting youth facing barriers and a rapidly evolving job market.
The international community’s increasing attention to sport in policy decisions, along with growing programmatic and scholarship activity, demonstrate the need for data that facilitates evidence-informed decision making by organizations, policy actors, and funders within the Sport for Development (SfD) field. To achieve this, there is a need for effective and sustainable investment, resource mobilization, and funding streams that support meaningful and rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and research. In this paper, the SfD funding landscape as it pertains to monitoring, evaluation, and research is critically appraised by a diverse writing team. This appraisal is informed by our experiences as stakeholders, along with findings from two recent systematic reviews and knowledge accumulated from SfD literature. Various topics are discussed (e.g., intervention theories, external frameworks, targeted funding, collective impact, transparent funding climate), with the conclusion that all actors must support the pursuit of participatory, rigorous, process-centered (but outcome-aware) monitoring, evaluation, and research that aims to enhance our understanding of SfD. Ultimately, this monitoring, evaluation, and research should improve both policy and intervention design and implementation while also defining and testing more realistic, contextually relevant, culturally aware outcomes and impacts.
Sports-based interventions are utilized today in many countries in cross-sectoral cooperation, for instance, as a means of social inclusion. However, not enough is known about the conditions of development or the formalization of operations. Accordingly, in this article, we focus on two instances of midnight football carried out in two suburban areas in Sweden in order to explore the mechanisms and conditions for interventions to achieve increased formalization and sustained operation. Through an analysis of interviews and network visualizations, we examine how collaborating agencies conceive of and describe their role in the assemblages of agencies surrounding and enabling the interventions. By looking closely at the forms of collaboration and communication in these networks, we find that the interventions have developed locally and not according to a central or strategic design. We identify three levels of design within the interventions, where communication, cooperation, and formalization can be governed: practice, program, and preconditions. Through a detailed analysis of these levels of intervention, we present crucial mechanisms for increased formalization and sustained operation and how these mechanisms differ between sites. In conclusion, on the basis of our analysis, we discuss refined approaches to understanding the temporality and interchangeability in the formation of cooperation and thus offer a refined conceptualization of the formalization of operations.
As female youth from refugee backgrounds are forced to migrate and resettle, they face unique challenges not often addressed by their host community. Participating in physical activity (PA), however, may pave a pathway to healthy resettlement. Nine Burmese females from refugee backgrounds participated in semistructured interviews and discussed their experiences in sport and physical education and how those experiences relate to their sense of belonging, autonomy, and relationships, as well as their ability to adapt. Participants then completed a photovoice task where they photographed highlights and challenges they have faced in PA. Photographs were analyzed and discussed in a follow-up interview. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Resulting dimensions such as sport incompetence, growth mindset, importance of autonomy and choice, and desired peer relationships support Ryan and Deci’s (2000) self-determination theory. Practical implications for PE teachers, coaches, and school administrators are discussed. These results inform school districts of potential barriers and future interventions that could help this population better resettle and encourage participation in sports and physical activity.
In Australia, the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their non-Indigenous peers is significant in terms of attendance, retention to Year 12, and literacy and numeracy skills, with the gap widening in regional and remote contexts. School-based, “academy-style” engagement programs work to close this gap by providing holistic support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students while requiring a certain level of school attendance by program participants. Shooting Stars is an engagement program based in seven remote and regional schools in Western Australia, where it uses netball and other incentives to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in their education, while promoting their health and wellbeing. Shooting Stars evaluates the efficacy of its services through collation of attendance data, participant case studies, and yarning circles. The methods used in the yarning circles research were developed over 18 months in collaboration with Shooting Stars participants, localized Shooting Stars steering committees, and Shooting Stars staff. This paper presents the evaluation protocols for the Shooting Stars program, focusing on the yarning circles’ methods in order to provide a framework or model of Indigenous evaluation methods for others working within this space.
This exploratory study examined the potential of using sport as a creative and engaging context to facilitate life skills development in socially vulnerable youth in Eswatini, who face major context-specific challenges to their healthy development. The sport for development program was designed using the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility model with adaptations made to fit the cultural context. Participants in the program were local coaches (N=3 males) and socially vulnerable youth (N=48, 25 females and 23 males) aged 11-15 years old, recruited from a community-based organization. Coaches were trained as the primary implementers of the program. Data collection employed a mixed-methods approach that triangulated data from surveys, learning quizzes, focus groups, and interviews. Findings supported the potential value of the program in cultivating the development and possible transfer of personal responsibility (e.g., self-direction skills such as goal setting and decision making) and social responsibility (e.g., interpersonal skills such as respect, self-control, conflict resolution, and caring) behaviors. The study provided preliminary support for the contextual utility of engendering these developmental outcomes in an environment where youth are facing a major health threat (i.e., HIV/AIDS) and community challenges (e.g., gender-based violence, poverty). Continued investment in long-term sport for development programming in Eswatini is warranted.
Limited research has assessed whether sports participation can be linked to decreasing risky sexual behavior among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa. The current study aimed to assess whether participation in a football league that provides sexual and reproductive health and rights lessons before each football match strengthened adolescent Zambian girls’ sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Adolescent female participants in the girls-only football league run by the organization Futebol dá Força (FDF, n=120) completed a questionnaire assessing sexual health knowledge, reported attitudes, and reported behavior. Logistic regressions were used to assess associations between participants’ self-reported program exposure and their sexual health knowledge, reported attitudes, and reported behavior. After examining all exposure levels and adjusting for age, participants with at least six months of reported exposure to the FDF program had better sexual health knowledge and attitudes compared to those reporting less than six months exposure (AOR 4.74, 95% CI 1.70-13.19). Those in the more exposed group also had higher odds of reporting using a condom at last sex (AOR=11.64, 95% CI=1.08-124.57). These findings suggest that sports-based educational programs may improve sexual health knowledge and attitudes among African adolescent girls, potentially reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease and early aged pregnancy.
The purpose of this study is to explore the organizational capacity for domestic sport for development (SFD). Semistructured interviews were conducted with a representative from 17 domestic SFD organizations operating in Canada (n=17). Within the dimensions of human resources capacity, financial capacity, relationship and network capacity, infrastructure and process capacity, and planning and development capacity, interviewees indicated several unique aspects of organizational capacity for domestic SFD and variation by organizational life cycle. Domestic SFD organizations in this study were focused on improving their local communities using a range of sports (n=10). They represent both urban and rural communities from across Canada and indicated achieving educational outcomes, increasing awareness for mental health services, developing leadership and other life skills, and improving new immigrant and refugee integration through sport plus and plus sport programs. Organizational capacity elements uncovered in this study include passion for helping others and for the sport itself, familiarity with development issues, grant funding success, sustainable funding, sustained partnerships, social capital, facilities, formalization, and strategic planning. Implications for domestic SFD organizations and their stakeholders and recommendations for further research are provided.
Human resources are critical to the success of SDP as a field, and yet little is known about the experience and expertise of the growing number of SDP actors (e.g., practitioners, scholars, students). The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a questionnaire designed to enhance our understanding of the SDP field through the eyes (and experiences) of SDP actors. The current state of the field is assessed, from the definition of SDP to information about the field that is actively sought (e.g., measurement and evaluation, program design and curriculum, funding) to concerns about limited support, ineffective and inequitable practices, and unclear impact. By understanding actors’ experiences in and expectations of the SDP field, we are able to identify a set of strengths and weaknesses that must be addressed in order to facilitate the field’s growth and development. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations about ways the field can be improved, including enhanced access to resources and research, more quality collaborations and partnerships, and meaningful, rigorous research and evaluation.
Hoodlinks is a sporting programme focused on the development of Olympic values that is run in two of Guatemala City’s most violent zones. A total of 116 (80 males; 36 females) athletes (average age = 13 yrs.) participated in this study along with five coaches. Using a mixed-methods longitudinal design, athletes completed a series of questionnaires six months apart that assessed their level of aggressive and caring behaviours, use of life skills both in and outside the Hoodlinks programme, and their overall quality of experience within the programme. Interviews with athletes, their parents/guardians, and the programme’s coaches also took place at both time periods. Results showed high positive experiences in the Hoodlinks programme at both time periods, significant increases in the use of life skills within the Hoodlinks programme as assessed by their coaches, and significant increases in overall communication skills. Interviews with the participants highlighted the importance of running the programme directly in high risk areas and the positive impact that the programme had on the development of life skills for the athletes, the positive changes within the communities where Hoodlinks took place, and the additional levels of support that the Hoodlinks programme had provided to athletes and their families. Recommendations for helping athletes transfer the life skills learned within the programme to their everyday lives are provided.
While sport for development programmes can be found across the globe, there is a gap in the literature describing and evaluating programmes that have been proven successful in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The Belizean Youth Sport Coalition was a two-way coaching exchange project that spanned three years. The goal of this project was to promote positive youth development and social change through sport in the small Central American nation of Belize. The purpose of the current study, which is part of a larger ongoing evaluation, was to assess the immediate outcomes of the education programme provided to 33 youth sport coaches in the first year of the project as well as their subsequent implementation. Multiple data sources indicate the education programme was effective in terms of participants’: (1) satisfaction with the training, (2) content knowledge, (3) attitudes and beliefs, and (4) capacity to implement the contents of the education programme. This study contributes to the sport for development literature by highlighting the important relationship between coach education and programme implementation. Moreover, it contributes to the literature on programmes that have been proven feasible and culturally relevant in the LAC region.
As studies continue to proliferate in a variety of areas within the sport-for-development (SFD) sector, the need for analysis of the circumstances and nuances within which SFD programming takes place remains crucial. As the field has recognised the context-specificity of SFD programmes and the communities in which they operate, the importance of understanding the views of those individuals at the local level and empirical studies that explicate and explore such perspectives have been emphasized. In their book, Localizing Global Sport for Development, Iain Lindsey, Tess Kay, Ruth Jeanes, and Davies Banda have responded to the call for deeper examinations of SFD by offering a profound exploration and extensive analysis of local, national and international influences on Zambian contexts of SFD and its related components.
This unique study is the first to apply the human capability approach (HCA) to explicitly investigate gender role attitudes from the perspective of boy and girl participants in SDP. We believe it is vital to include voices of all participants to more critically examine how SDP might both challenge and reinforce restrictive gender norms. This paper is drawn from a research project for a doctoral thesis in Development Studies and focuses on adolescent participants, youth coaching trainees, programme facilitators and government administrators involved in SDP programmes in Barbados and St. Lucia (n=104). The primary author conducted surveys, focus group discussions, interviews and journaling to gather the data presented here and in the thesis. Using the HCA as a theoretical framework, we argue that these SDP programmes tend to integrate participants into masculinised, heteronormative forms of sport that may unwittingly reinforce restrictive gender norms for both boys and girls. In order to better support the capability development of all participants, SDP leaders must actively challenge restrictive gender role attitudes of masculinity and femininity.
A history of drug trafficking in Medellin, Colombia resulted in the city receiving the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of the world in 1991. Over a quarter of a century later, drug trafficking has left a complex legacy of an illegal and violent culture, which has subsequently eroded values systems that leave disadvantaged children vulnerable to criminal activities. To begin addressing this social problem, the Conconcreto Foundation has leveraged Colombia’s passion for football in its sport-for-development (SFD) ‘Seedbeds of Peace’ programme. A case study design was used to illustrate how the ‘Seedbeds of Peace’ programme uses football as an analogy to teach life skills and redefine moral values. This case study adds to the limited theoretical understanding of how sport works in social change and further equips SFD practitioners with a sport mechanism not previously discussed in the literature.
This multi-case study involved coaches who are academics from New Zealand visiting the Philippines on an annual basis and implementing sports coaching programmes underpinned by a humanistic coaching philosophy. The study aimed to gain insight into how sport can be used by the Marist organization in the Philippines to (a) enhance their ability to effectively engage and build relationships within the communities they serve, and (b) to enhance the self-esteem and confidence of pupils in a school set up for children at risk and/or in conflict with the law. A primary objective was for the sports coaching initiative to be self-sustaining and ultimately delivered by graduates from a Marist institute of higher education. For many participants, this experience has been their very first engagement with sport at any level. Individual and focus group interviews revealed that the experience, for many participants and stakeholders, has been ‘transformative’ and ‘inspiring’. The notion of sport-for-all challenged traditional thinking about the role of sport as primarily a competitive enterprise. At the school, pupils adopted a more inclusive model of sport and the programme appeared to provide institute graduates with the confidence, skill and desire to engage through sport with young people in their communities.
This paper proposes a promising tool for analyzing the contents of sport for development and peace (SDP) agency reports (activity or annual). Contributing to ongoing methodological discussions in this field is important since reports afford rich data when access to the ground is not timely, practical, or feasible. Building on Greimas’ Actantial model and the SDP Snakes and Ladders model, a semiotic analysis method specifically adapted for sport for development and peace projects is proposed. Such analysis of concepts that theoretically help or hinder sport for development projects are brought to the fore and serve as an initial waypoint when analyzing reports. By applying this approach to one specific sport for development project report (case study), this paper demonstrates that valuable insights about management priorities and practices may be obtained through the systematic and rigorous application of this proposed research tool. Moreover, the importance of content analysis as a precursor to, or in concurrence with, fieldwork is also discussed.
The boundaries of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) encompass many stakeholders attempting to leverage sport for achieving various development outcomes. This has attracted researchers to systematically review the SDP literature during recent years. What remains largely unknown, however, is where SDP organisations are located, what these efforts are focused upon, and the sport and physical activities used to deliver such programming. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to review SDP practice and provide an overview of the current state of the field. A total of 955 entities involved in SDP grassroots practice were identified based on a systematic review of 3,138 organisational entries in SDP databases. The majority of organisations operate programmes in Africa, but hundreds of entities are also found across Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America. Of these, more than 80% are headquartered within the same region. Education, Livelihoods, and Health emerged as the most common thematic areas, while Disability and Gender were the least represented. A total of 32 types of sports were identified, with one-third relying solely on football. Implications of these findings for SDP practice and research are further discussed.
Community violence negatively impacts the educational, social, and emotional needs of youth, particularly those living in under-resourced communities. Social and environmental influences can help youth develop resilience to this pervasive, destructive cycle of community violence. A particularly effective approach is programming that fosters positive youth development (PYD), which prepares youth to successfully adapt and function in the midst of ongoing stress and adversity such as community violence. This study examined Exploring Our Strengths and Our Future, a sport-based PYD programme empowering middle school youth to engage in their own strength-based, holistic development through sport, with a particular focus on education and career exploration and development. The purpose of this study was to examine connections between participant outcomes and programme implementation of this sport-based PYD programme, which used the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model. This programme was evaluated through multiple methods, including observational field notes, interviews, and written reflections that were analysed with deductive and inductive analysis strategies. Results suggested that meaningful life skills were learned and transferred to other domains. This was accomplished through an intentional programme climate (e.g., youth-centred philosophy, and task-oriented climate), effective leader and mentor strategies (e.g., relationships and engagement), and valuable campus visits.
David Meir1 1 University Centre Blackburn College, School of Health, Science and Technology, UK Citation: Meir, D. “Leadership and empowerment through sport”: The intentions, hopes, ambitions and reality of creating a sport-for-development organisation in Cape Town. Journal of Sport for Development. 2017; 5(8): 19-29. Download article as PDF ABSTRACT Leadership and Empowerment through Sport (LETS) […]