Report: The future of sport and development
As the coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected sport, including the use of sport in development, it is opportune to question the role of sport in society. Should we be going back to business as usual OR is it time for sport to change? How can sport better serve society and all its people in a brave new world?
Given this, sportanddev launched a call for articles in April 2020 on the future of sport and development. We received a record number of responses at the time, with over 55 articles (in English and French) from 65 authors. Participants contributed from more than 30 countries in six continents, coming from NGOs, governments, intergovernmental agencies, sports federations and clubs. They work on a range of topics, from gender equality and health to education and peacebuilding.
Following this, we organised a successful webinar in June 2020 that saw more than 1,000 people tune in via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. Finally, we organised the articles and feedback received into 10 key themes. These are outlined in the report, which is open access and freely available.
While we cannot claim to represent the entire sport for development sector, the report collates ideas from multiple people and organisations, effectively presenting a series of recommendations crowdsourced from our diverse community. We thank all who contributed to this body of work.
We hope the report serves as food for thought for sports leaders, policymakers, practitioners, academics, students and anyone else with the ability to influence change as we aim to #BuildBackBetter in the coming years. The time for change is now and sport needs to change.