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Case studies

Case studies

How can the principles covered in this toolkit on sport and development policy be put into practice? Here are examples from seven countries.

Australia

In 2011, the Australian Sport and Recreation Ministers’ Council published the first National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework. The purpose was to guide Australia’s government in implementing sport and recreation policies that encourage increased sport participation among citizens, and improve investment in high-performance sport. The government also laid out a vision for sport and recreation to share policy agendas with other areas, including urban planning, education, climate change, social policy, health and economic development.

Sport is often touted as a tool for diplomacy and in 2015 the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade published a three-year strategy on the topic. The goal was to promote the country’s brand in the Indo-Pacific area and demonstrate that Australia is outward-looking and ‘open for business’ in the sports arena. The strategy focused on three goals - connecting people and institutions, enhancing sport for development, showcasing Australia and supporting innovation and integrity. 

Belize

The government of Belize published a National Sports Policy which established their vision for 2016-2030. It recognised sport as vital in the holistic development of individuals, communities and the nation as a whole. The plan goes beyond promoting sport for health, and incorporates three themes into its national sport philosophy:

  • Sports for All: Focuses on developing lifelong commitments to sport for a better quality of life for all citizens
  • Sport for Development and Peace: This builds on the previous point, and acknowledges sport as an important vehicle for development and peace initiatives
  • Sports Excellence: This centres on professional athletes in Belize, and building their achievements at the international level

To bring about their vision, the government of Belize, in partnership with national sports organisations, the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Associations, and others, have focused on improving training, facilities, educational opportunities and other opportunities for sport participation. To ensure the effective implementation of their sport policy, several recommendations are put in place. Those include  adherence to good governance principles, a strengthened Regulatory Framework for the sports sector, strengthened Sports Administration and Management, and positioning the government as the lead agency. 

Read the full Belize National Sports Policy:

Canada

Canada’s 2012 Sport Policy defines a vision for governments, institutions and organisations to realise the positive impacts of sport on individuals, communities and society for 2012 to 2022. It defines quality sport acts as a roadmap for local governments and works with complementary action plans designed in partnership with NGOs in the sport sector. Their vision is to have “a dynamic and innovative culture that promotes and celebrates participation and excellence in sport” by 2022.

The policy includes five broad goals:

  • Introduction to sport
  • Recreational sport
  • Competitive sport
  • High-performance sport
  • Sport for development

Each goal is accompanied by a set of policy objectives. The government also adopted an action plan and policy specific to girls and women in sport. Other policy documents target under-represented groups and their participation in sport, including aboriginal people and people with a disability. The purpose of these frameworks is to foster inclusive sport environments that promote quality experiences and equitable support by sport organisations. 

Read more about Canada’s sport and development policies:

Jamaica

The Jamaican national sport policy includes objectives measuring both participation and global competitiveness in sport. It highlights cooperation between government ministries, sport agencies, sport associations, NGOs and the private sector.

The document outlines broader development achievements for Jamaica to achieve by 2030, and aligns its national sport policy to these goals through four objectives: Sport for All, Sport for Peace and Unity, Sport for Economic Development and Sport for the Environment. It outlines further objectives and outcomes including enhanced health and wellness, increased number of peaceful communities and increased participation in sport and recreational activities. 

Read the Jamaican National Sport Policy: 

Mauritius

The Mauritius National Sport and Physical Activity Policy is framed by the health of the country’s citizens, which is affected by low levels of activity. This policy is designed to address issues of economy, health and wellbeing, individual development and culture and identity. It has three clear themes for the 2018-2028 period:   

  • Foster a culture of community sport and physical activity
  • Create an amateur to elite sport movement
  • Develop a vibrant and growing sport economy

Within these themes, the government sets up several targets and actions to track progress.

Read the full policy document: 

Rwanda

The Rwandan National Sport policy outlines the important role of sport as not only a tool for health but also as a tool to drive development messages, foster unity, improve international recognition and economy, and promote social integration, among other benefits. The policy also acknowledges challenges, including a lack of sport infrastructure, limited financial capacity and gaps in management of sport bodies, a limited legal framework and weak links between sports federations, local schools and governments. 

Their policy vision centres on developing sports excellence at all levels, and includes removing barriers to participation for women and girls and people with disabilities. They lay out targets for both citizens and Rwandan high-level sport, and specify objectives to strengthen the management capacity of sport bodies, stimulate public support for sport activities, promote gender equity, and develop sport facilities to allow mass participation of the public.  

Their plan involves nine policy orientations which include strategic actions to achieve their targets by 2020. 

Read the Rwanda sport policy: 

Rwanda Sports Development Policy (Ministry of Sports and Culture, 2012)

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago’s sport policy framework addresses two areas: development of sport, which is defined as getting more people to play, and sport for development, which references sport’s potential as an enabler of development.

The framework seeks to strengthen sport in the county and focuses on the inclusion of “historically disenfranchised groups and individuals irrespective of race, class, ethnicity, gender or any other applied stigmas”. The policy targets growth and the evolution of the country and its citizens through holistic sport development and achievement.

The two main objectives of the county’s sport policy are: total participation (sport for all) and high-performance sport (competitive sport). These major goals frame eight strategic objectives. In addition, the policy developed is based on six principles: transparency, validity, productivity, cooperation, equity and sustainability. 

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