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Development through Sport: Building Social Capital in Disadvantaged Communities


  • Skinner, James
  • Zakus, Dwight H.
  • Cowell, Jacqui


Traditional delivery of sport development programs, especially at the community level, faces particular challenges under neoliberal ideology. While several issues are evident, this paper addresses only the issue of development through sport for disadvantaged communities. It reviews models where sport was employed to develop better community and citizen life outcomes and to deal with social issues previously addressed through "welfare state" processes. These new models flow out of neoliberalist state agendas to assist in fostering social inclusion and in building positive social capital in disadvantaged communities. Examples from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Canada are analysed and the implications for the Australian context are discussed. The discussion focuses on best practice success factors such as policy and strategy, partnerships, places and spaces, community/social development, evaluation and monitoring and sustainability. The role of traditional sports clubs and local government in delivering social inclusion programs and the emerging provision of community based sport activities by community/social development organisations is detailed. The implications for sport management, in terms of community development, community sport development and sport policy, are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Skinner, James & Zakus, Dwight H. & Cowell, Jacqui, 2008. "Development through Sport: Building Social Capital in Disadvantaged Communities," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 253-275, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:11:y:2008:i:3:p:253-275

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Productivity Commission, 2003. "Social capital: reviewing the concept and its policy implications," Public Economics 0307001, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruening, Jennifer E. & Peachey, Jon Welty & Evanovich, Justin M. & Fuller, Rhema D. & Murty, Cassandra J. Coble & Percy, Vernon E. & Silverstein, Lauren A. & Chung, Michael, 2015. "Managing sport for social change: The effects of intentional design and structure in a sport-based service learning initiative," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 69-85.
    2. Raquel Amorim & Valentín Molina-Moreno & Antonio Peña-García, 2016. "Proposal for Sustainable Dynamic Lighting in Sport Facilities to Decrease Violence among Spectators," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-10, December.
    3. Darcy, S. & Maxwell, H. & Edwards, M. & Onyx, J. & Sherker, S., 2014. "More than a sport and volunteer organisation: Investigating social capital development in a sporting organisation," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 395-406.
    4. Vörös, Tünde, 2017. "Költség-haszon elemzési keretrendszer sportberuházások társadalmi-gazdasági értékeléséhez
      [An economic framework for cost-benefit analysis of sports facilities]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 394-420.
    5. Dalton, Bronwen & Wilson, Rachel & Evans, John Robert & Cochrane, Steve, 2015. "Australian Indigenous youth's participation in sport and associated health outcomes: Empirical analysis and implications," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-68.
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:304-313 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Welty Peachey, Jon & Borland, John & Lobpries, Jami & Cohen, Adam, 2015. "Managing impact: Leveraging sacred spaces and community celebration to maximize social capital at a sport-for-development event," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 86-98.
    8. Kitchin, P.J. & David Howe, P., 2013. "How can the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu assist sport management research?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 123-134.
    9. repec:cog:socinc:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:130-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Schulenkorf, Nico, 2012. "Sustainable community development through sport and events: A conceptual framework for Sport-for-Development projects," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-12.
    11. Thomson, Alana & Darcy, Simon & Pearce, Sonya, 2010. "Ganma theory and third-sector sport-development programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth: Implications for sports management," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 313-330, November.
    12. Hickey, Gráinne & McGilloway, Sinead & O’Brien, Morgan & Leckey, Yvonne & Devlin, Maurice, 2015. "A theory-based evaluation of a community-based funding scheme in a disadvantaged suburban city area," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 61-69.
    13. Berg, Brennan K. & Warner, Stacy & Das, Bhibha M., 2015. "What about sport? A public health perspective on leisure-time physical activity," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 20-31.
    14. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:3:p:243-251 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lock, Daniel & Filo, Kevin & Kunkel, Thilo & Skinner, James, 2013. "Thinking about the same things differently: Examining perceptions of a non-profit community sport organisation," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 438-450.
    16. repec:eee:spomar:v:21:y:2018:i:2:p:160-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Chisun Yoo & Sugie Lee, 2016. "Neighborhood Built Environments Affecting Social Capital and Social Sustainability in Seoul, Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-22, December.
    18. Schulenkorf, Nico, 2010. "The roles and responsibilities of a change agent in sport event development projects," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 118-128, May.
    19. Edwards, Michael B., 2015. "The role of sport in community capacity building: An examination of sport for development research and practice," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 6-19.
    20. Dowling, Mathew & Edwards, Jonathon & Washington, Marvin, 2014. "Understanding the concept of professionalisation in sport management research," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 520-529.
    21. Kuang-Hua Hu & Fu-Hsiang Chen & Gwo-Hshiung Tzeng, 2016. "Evaluating the Improvement of Sustainability of Sports Industry Policy Based on MADM," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-21, June.


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