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.
Category archives for Sport and Peace
We are pleased to announce the third 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 transition from youth to adulthood in African nations has changed markedly in recent years. Social and economic challenges often lead to the creation of a disengaged and alienated generation struggling to participate actively in society. Drawing on the personalized accounts of a group of youth leaders experiencing such conditions, this paper presents empirical findings from a small-scale qualitative study of one Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) initiative that, through various community-based projects, aims to provide personal, social, and educational support for young people in Mzuzu, a city in northern Malawi. The paper seeks to uncover some of the reasons behind youth disengagement within this particular context and explores how empowerment-based mentoring is used by youth leaders to bring about change in the lives of the young people with whom they work. The paper concludes that amid the wider tensions and anxieties of youth transition in sub-Saharan Africa, strategic and intentional relationship building (through mentoring) can provide a catalyst for personal development, intergenerational connection, and social change.
Sport for development (SFD) has continued to evolve as a field to the point where it has been suggested as an institutionalized sector within the broader international development discipline (Darnell et al., 2019; McSweeney et al., 2019). Research, practice, and policy related to SFD has increased greatly since the new millennium, including empirical analysis related to the management, innovative processes, and partnerships of organizations (Welty Peachey et al., 2018; Svensson & Cohen, 2020; Svensson & Hambrick, 2016), sociocultural investigations into the power relations across and within North/South contexts (Darnell, 2012; Hayhurst, 2014, 2017; McSweeney, 2019), explorations of gender (in)equalities and (de)colonization (Darnell & Hayhurst, 2012; Oxford, 2019; Oxford & McLachlan, 2018), and studies of the (un)intended consequences of SFD programs for participants who are “targeted” as development beneficiaries (Spaaij, 2011, 2013a; Whitley et al., 2016), to name but a few. Yet, although critical and important insights into the complexities and premise of SFD continue to grow, and organizations continue to emerge within the field (at least pre-COVID-19), there remains a need to examine further the potential opportunities of sport, if any, for promoting and offering livelihood opportunities to specific populations (Schulenkorf et al., 2016). This special issue aims to advance theoretical, empirical, and practical insights into the relationship between SFD and livelihoods.
Surf therapy is a novel form of sport for development (SFD) intervention being utilized to support well-being within post-conflict settings. There is currently little research exploring surf therapy program theory in SFD contexts. Theoretical exploration is important for optimization, monitoring, and further expansion of service delivery. This research utilized pragmatic qualitative methods to explore participant-perceived impacts and outcomes within the Waves for Change (W4C) surf therapy intervention, as implemented in Harper, Liberia, that aims to support youth well-being. Twenty-three past W4C participants (17 males and 6 females, mean age = 15.8 years, SD = 3.6 years, range 11-25 years) took part in semistructured interviews about their experiences of surf therapy. Data were analyzed through constant comparative analysis. Six impacts and outcomes were identified within three intervention domains: Social, Skills Curriculum/Bananas Culture, and Surfing. The findings highlight sport as an adaptable vehicle for improving well-being and skills within successful intervention delivery while providing a foundation for further in-depth exploration of program theory. Furthermore, the findings provide empirical evidence on how to optimize and proliferate surf therapy within other post-conflict settings. The findings also provide transferable conclusions for the improvement of SFD more generally.
The burgeoning field of sport-for-development (SFD) is witnessing a steady increase in experience-related empirical investigations. To support academics—and in particular young and emerging scholars—with a rigorous framework for investigating social and cultural phenomena in different SFD contexts, we propose the process-oriented sport in development settings (SPIDS) research framework. SPIDS represents a guiding framework that advocates a qualitative approach to researching SFD projects in which multiple methods are combined for a holistic in-depth investigation. In this paper, we apply practical examples from the SFD field to the SPIDS framework and discuss its individual sections in a step-by-step manner. Specific focus is placed on aspects of reflection and reflexivity as distinctly important and underpinning aspects of qualitative SFD research.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perspectives of SFD practitioners on how SFD organizations can be more effectively managed for sustainability and meaningful impact. With a goal to respond to the call that SFD research should reflect on its effectiveness and the managerial direction in which it is going, we engaged with a variety of SFD practitioners to seek out their voices as well as to illuminate their reflections on and inputs to the field. Thirty practitioners from 29 SFD organizations participated in the study. Practitioners’ advice for effectively managing SFD organizations included enhancing sustainability, having a passion for sport and SFD, gaining experience before taking action, engaging in professional training, establishing academic partnerships, developing a professional and entrepreneurial mindset, and utilizing online resources. Practical implications, recommendations, and future research directions are discussed.
More than 20 years since its bloody war, Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to suffer under structurally imposed ethnic divisions. Sustained by the country’s leaders who rely on ethnocentric narratives fuelled by “memory politics,” they distort historical events for the benefit of their ethnic group. This paper relies on Positioning Theory to explore whether CrossFit Sarajevo, a grassroots initiative, created necessary conditions to challenge these ethnocentric narratives within the club. Relying on interviews with 13 of its members, the paper explores what impact positions, actions/acts, and storylines can have on the creation of a cohesive and respectful multiethnic community. According to its findings, this paper suggests that such organizations indeed have significant potential challenging divisive narratives. Embracing egalitarian and inclusive positions appears to have established a common code of conduct within the club’s members, contributing to the creation of a distinct sense of belonging and social trust. These have manifested in humanitarian projects undertaken by the club that seek to help some of the most disadvantaged in the broader community. Ultimately, this project highlights the important role grassroots organizations can play in postviolence settings and suggests further exploration into the influence and permeability of such initiatives in the broader society.
The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its eleventh issue. JSFD’s mission is to examine, advance and disseminate evidence, best practices, and lessons learned from Sport for Development programmes and interventions. JSFD is the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to exclusively publishing research from the field of Sport for Development.
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.
The focus of this study is a specific SDP programme, entitled Sports Visitors, executed in partnership between George Mason University and the U.S. Department of State. The purpose of this programme evaluation was to examine a subset of Latin American and Caribbean groups to ascertain the immediate, short-term impact of an intervention programme on the attitudes of participants relative to programme objectives. Nine groups comprised of 150 sport visitors participated in this investigation over a five year period. After the data were cleaned, 143 valid responses remained for analysis. The findings are based upon descriptive and effect size outcomes of quantitative survey data supplemented by qualitative comments provided by participants. The overall total mean for all seven items combined yields a very large effect size of 1.43. The results indicate that a) positive change occurred among LAC participants across all objectives measured, and b) changes were consistently reflected across each type of LAC participant group based upon gender, role, and gender with role.
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.
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 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.
Jon Welty Peachey1, Adam Cohen2, Allison Musser1 1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, USA 2 University of Technology Sydney, Management Discipline Group, Australia Citation: Welty Peachey, J., Cohen, A., Musser, A. ‘A phone call changed my life’: Exploring the motivations of sport for development and peace scholars. Journal of […]
James Mandigo1, John Corlett2, Pedro Ticas3 1 Brock University, Centre for Healthy Development through Sport and Physical Activity, Canada 2 MacEwan University, Vice President Academic and Provost, Canada 3 Universidad Pedagógica de El Salvador, Department of Research, El Salvador Citation: Mandigo, J., Corlett, J., Ticas, P. Examining the role of life skills developed through Salvadoran […]
Jacob W. Cooper1, Lindsey C. Blom2, Lawrence H. Gerstein3, Dorice A. Hankemeier4, Tacianna P. Indovina3 1 Ball State University, School of Physical Education, Sport, Exercise Science & Boston University, USA 2 Ball State University, School of Physical Education, Sport, Exercise Science, Sport & Exercise Psychology, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, USA 3 Ball State […]
Alexander Hamilton1, Charlie Foster1, Justin Richards2 1 British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches to Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK 2 Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Australia Citation: Hamilton, A.; Foster, C.; Richards, J. A systematic review of the […]
Lindsey C. Blom1, Lawrence Gerstein2, Kelley Stedman3, Lawrence Judge4, Alisha Sink4, David Pierce5 1 Ball State University, School of PE, Sport, & Exercise Science, The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, USA 2 Ball State University, Department of Counseling Psychology, The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, USA 3 Ball State University, Social Science Research […]
Publication of Volume 2, Issue 3 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its third issue. Please click here to download the full PDF of the issue. JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote […]
Nicholas S. Mayrand1 1 University of Dayton, Department of Religious Studies, USA Citation: Possibilities and Dangers at the Nexus of Sport and Development Discourses: An Analysis of Racialized and De-historicized Spaces. Journal of Sport for Development. 2013; 2(3) Download article as PDF Abstract Pairing the discourse of sport with that of development has resulted in […]
Publication of Volume 1, Issue 2 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its fourth issue. Click here to download a full PDF of Issue 2 JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote development, […]
Publication of Volume 1, Issue 1 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its first Issue. JSFD is the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to exclusively publishing research from the field of Sport for Development (SFD). The journal was developed in response to a need to establish a […]