In March 2013, the Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) published its first issue as an online, open-access academic journal explicitly dedicated to sport for development (SFD) research. JSFD’s mission was to embark on a journey towards advancing, examining and disseminating best practices and evidence of effectiveness from programs and interventions that use sport to promote (international) development in the seven thematic areas of: education, disability, gender, health, livelihoods, social cohesion, and peace.1 Five years from its inauguration, it seems timely to look back and reflect on some of JSFD’s organizational developments, key achievements, and future challenges.
Category archives for Volume 6, Issue 11
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.
Although the field of Sport for Development (SfD) has been progressing in the international community for some time, the Japanese government only recently began looking for ways to contribute to the field during Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Promoting Tokyo’s bid, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced the ‘Sport for Tomorrow (SFT)’ programme to bring the joy of sports to at least 10 million children in 100 countries by 2020. However, the progress made as of 2016 indicates that reaching this target would be difficult at the current pace. Japan’s sluggish economic growth is creating various problems for the sports world in Japan, and the significance of aiding developing countries through sport has not been properly explained. Most Japanese people are unfamiliar with both SfD and SFT, although the scope and amount of SFT activities are expected to increase as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games approach.
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.
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.