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.
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This article serves as a follow-up on a previous study and looks at how volunteering at a major sporting event has affected the lives of a group of volunteers with intellectual disabilities two years after volunteering. The aim is to examine how volunteering at an Olympic event may be a source for lasting social value, operationalized as an increase in social capital and quality of life. Qualitative interviews were conducted on a selection of former volunteers with intellectual disabilities (n=8). In five of the interviews, parents of the interviewees also functioned as facilitators for the interviews. The same five parents were also interviewed in brief, semistructured interviews. This study shows that the event had a limited effect on bridging social capital, while having a stronger impact on the group`s bonding social capital. Moreover, the event has affected the quality of life for the participants to various degrees by being a source for positive memories, enforced by visual reminders such as the volunteer uniform frequently worn by the former volunteers. The volunteer experience also serves as a bridging element, bringing together groups of people with little in common. In some cases, volunteering also led to employment in regular occupations.
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.
Sport is often promoted as a vehicle through which a variety of social policy outcomes can be achieved. One of the most common outcomes is the enhancement of social inclusion opportunities for marginalized youth populations. While a growing number of studies have examined the potential of sport-based interventions to address broader social concerns, few have focused on the recruitment activities used within such programs to engage youth populations. Drawing on interview data collected within two sport-based interventions delivered in London (UK), which both aimed to engage marginalized young people through sport, this article intends to examine three main issue: first, to explore the practices undertaken by the two organizations to recruit and retain participants in their sport-based interventions, and second, to examine the implications of these practices on participant recruitment strategies. Third, the article contends that within a context shaped by a neoliberal agenda, the necessity to meet predetermined participation targets encourages organizations to use the most efficient means possible to maximize numbers of program participants. However, such recruitment strategies often overlook young people whose social exclusion is more complex or acute, and who, arguably, are in greater need of intervention support.
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.
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.
During the Youth Olympic Winter Games event in Lillehammer, Norway, a group of students with intellectual disabilities worked as volunteers. The teachers of the class functioned in a social entrepreneurial manner, using the event to create social value for this particular group. Qualitative interviews were conducted with the group of students (n=12), and observations were made during the event. The students’ teachers (n=3) and the head of volunteers (n=1) from the organizing committee were also interviewed for triangulation, thus verifying the interpretation of the data. This study demonstrated that social value was created through the practical tasks the students with intellectual disabilities were given, especially in relation to the Olympic context of the event, and the job itself was more important than those for whom they were doing it or why. Other important sources of social value were for the students to be outside of the classroom and to be cooperating and learning from each other within the group. Last, the students had the opportunity to aid and assist, instead of being aided and assisted, and to give something back to the local community.
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.
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.
The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its tenth issue, a Special Issue on Sport for Development and Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean. Guest editors include: Daniel Parnell, Alexander Cárdenas, Paul Widdop, Pedro-Pablo Cardoso-Castro and Sibylle Lang.
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.
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.
The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its ninth 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.
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.
Similar to traditional development, neo-colonial tendencies are apparent in the sport-for-development and peace (SDP) movement. As a result, a large majority of SDP scholars perceive the notion of ‘decolonisation’ as displacing the antecedents of colonialism. SDP scholars are advocating for a postcolonial approach to future SDP initiatives that will help decolonise the structures of hegemony that are in place. Although the authors of this article agree with these sentiments (and many more), and that the cause is justified, we however postulate that the postcolonial critique presented only offers an early foundation from which to decolonise SDP. Therefore, to build upon these foundations, there is a need for a methodological approach to guide critical engagement in SDP policy and research. Thus we propose the critical-participatory-paradigm (CPP) for consideration in this regard, using Darnell & Hayhurst’s1 points that the time is ripe to pursue a decolonising process that challenges structural inequalities. Through a qualitative evaluation research study of the Jamaican Kicking-AIDS-Out programme, we highlight how the CPP provides an alternative philosophical and methodological framework for decolonisation. Even though decolonisation is not instant, the principles of the CPP resulted in certain principles that could be followed allowing for consciousness raising and the enhancement of control in the research process by all vested interests.
Despite the increasing popularity of sports-for-development programmes worldwide, little research has examined how these programmes shape gender attitudes, a key component of positive youth development. This study examines how participation in a sports-for-development programme in Senegal is associated with the gender equality attitudes of youth and coaches. A repeated cross-sectional design is utilized to examine how measures of gender equity and stereotypes among 87 youth and 32 coaches with no experience in the programme (Time 1) differ from the same measures among youth and coaches with at least one year of programme participation (Time 2). Findings indicated that youth endorsements of gender equity and non-traditional gender roles were significantly higher for some participants at Time 2 compared to the reported attitudes at Time 1. When compared to female youth, male youth reported greater endorsement of non-traditional gender roles at Time 1, with lower levels of endorsement reported at Time 2. Coaches’ gender equity attitudes did not differ significantly between Time 1 and Time 2. With minimal programme exposure, the LLP programme may potentially increase gender equity attitudes and decrease gender stereotyping among youth, particularly females in southern Senegal. Future sports-for-development programmes should increase programming prioritization of coaches, a group that appeared to show no benefit from the programme.
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.
Due to their sporting potential, young Fijian rugby athletes have become a highly sought-after sport migrant group. For many Fijian families, rugby-generated remittances are a critical step towards income security and can contribute towards achieving social and economic development goals at the household and community level. Despite the prospect that migrant athletes should be able to dramatically improve their economic positioning and that of their family back home, the promise and opportunities do not seem to be fully realised, especially in the longer term. By drawing on survey findings of 70 Fijian athletes, as well as fieldwork undertaken in Fiji and New Zealand, where 33 in-depth interviews occurred, this paper asks: What is the potential development impact of rugby-generated remittances for iTaukei, indigenous Fijian families and what are some of the challenges athletes and/or their families face ensuring any gains make a difference in the longer term? Findings suggest that for many athletes and their families, rugby-generated remittances make a significant contribution, which enables them to meet consumption needs and wants and allows for capital accumulation (tangible and intangible). Thus the potential development impact is seen to be substantial. However, cultural expectations and often related high demands from family, poor financial literacy and limited business opportunities at home are some of the things impacting any sustained effect. The uneven playing field and politics of the rugby landscape were also raised as areas of concern when thinking about rugby as a sustainable livelihoods option for iTaukei.