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The future of sport and development: The need to change elite sport

Boys playing soccer in a city
Copyrights: Mosa Moseneke/Unsplash (Photo)

The future of sport and development: The need to change elite sport

We have identified ten themes that authors emphasised in our recent call for articles on the future of sport and development.

For the world of sport to return to the no-compromise, over-funded, over-resourced pursuit of perfection that has become the aspirational modus operandi for sports organisations in the ‘developed world’ seems at best misguided, at worst a little vulgar.

Tim Harper, Equity Sport

As the coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected sport, including professional leagues and competitions, many have begun to question the role of sport in society. Should we be seeking to go back to business as usual? or is it time for sport to change? What needs to be done?

sportanddev recently published a call for articles on the future of sport and development, receiving a record 55 responses from writers across the world and from a range of backgrounds and sectors. We have analysed the published articles and identified 10 key and interlinked themes. The theme for this article is the need to build a more equitable and inclusive sport for development and sport sector.

sportanddev also hosted a webinar on the future of sport and development on 23 June, International Olympic Day with over 300 attendees! Click here to watch the recording.

The need to change elite sport

Responses to the call for articles included critiques of an excessive focus on elite sport and performance. Resources are disproportionately allocated to professional sport and their associated rewards. Certain authors argued that elite sport does not adequately serve the needs of society and reinforces inequities.

Sport bodies need to improve their governance, transparency and leadership, with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility. This may help rebuild trust in sport, which has often been seen as self-serving, disjointed and driven by profit rather than people and planet.

What are the other topics writers emphasised? Find out more.


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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 16:24