Journal of Sport for Development, in its recent editorial, explores a vision for the next vanguard of Sport for Development.
The growth of the Sport for Development field is undeniable in terms of practice, policy, and research.
Yet, growth – defined as the number of programs, organisations, money, or stakeholders involved – does not always correlate with more meaningful or impactful solutions. Instead, it can result in duplication or redundancy.
An important question to consider is whether there is enough innovation in the field.
Historically, Sport for Development organisations have drawn on the work of other similar bodies when designing, implementing, or restructuring their initiatives. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organisations to pivot their operations on short notice to sustain programming. Funders, like Laureus, Beyond Sport, and Comic Relief, also pivoted to create special funding mechanisms including the Sport for Good Response Fund.
Now—three years into the pandemic—there is a growing recognition that the Sport For Development field is at a precarious point in time where stakeholders ought to consider how the field can be transformed.
The field has a strong foundation upon which we must build, yet the innovation shown during the pandemic proved just how resilient and adaptable stakeholders can be – and how much the field might benefit from more innovative approaches.
With this in mind, three topics were proposed in a recent editorial that can advance Sport for Development practices, policies, funding, and research - provided that stakeholders are willing to embrace innovation and collaboration at all levels.
Read the full article.