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Learning through volunteering: Looking forward to collaborative models and a sustainable future

Copyrights: Diogo Jurema and Alexandra Volkova

Learning through volunteering: Looking forward to collaborative models and a sustainable future

The final article wraps up our experience with GIP in Colombia and looks forward to new questions and ideas in the field of sport for development.

‘Lack of resources’ is not necessarily an issue in the current sport and development funding model; creating new initiatives and campaigns are therefore not as important as identifying synergies and building collaborative interventions with existing networks.

In the spirit of renewing perspectives, it is stimulating to look forward and challenge the business model in this field. What paradigms can we change in the realm of sport and development? And how can social projects be sustainable – i.e. socially responsible, eco-friendly and commercially viable – and be scaled-up?

Development beyond development of the sport

For most Olympic sport federations, development is overwhelmingly a technical function, focusing on the sport itself. Developing the sport is indeed fundamental, however, business and social development are complementary to support effective and impactful development programmes. Building local, contextualised capital – social, technical and economic – creates the backbone of sustainable projects.

Building local alliances and collaborative models

It is possible to address redundancy by activating and connecting existing players and networks. Innovative partnership models should enable customised solutions to local issues. Such models should build collaborative and multidisciplinary interventions. International organisations could play the role of incubators, driving local entrepreneurship through sports and investing in capacity-building programmes as well as in social development initiatives – and thus, contributing to several UN Sustainable Development Goals.

A project-driven and sustainable future

This was the ultimate outcome of our experience with GIP in Colombia: to contribute to raising questions that add value to innovative solutions and turn more people into natural participants and supporters of sports as a key tool to achieve multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to continuing to contribute to sport for development programmes and instigating a debate on new questions and ideas in this field. We believe in sport for development as a prolific space, with the potential to adopt various models and become a project-driven and sustainable platform for technical, social and business development.

Alexandra Volkova has worked in sports for 15 years and has intense experience in broadcasting as a public sports broadcaster, in multiple Olympic Games, UEFA Club and National team competitions, boxing competitions and other events.

Diogo Jurema was the Head of Development of an Olympic International Federation responsible for the areas of grassroots, knowledge and international cooperation. He also implemented various consulting services for several IFs and developed sport event strategies for cities and regions worldwide.


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Diogo Jurema and Alexandra Volkova


Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 10:56