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Integrating sport-for-development theory and praxis


  • Lyras, Alexis
  • Welty Peachey, Jon


In recent years there has been a growing social movement toward the use of non-traditional sport practices as a vehicle for social change, reaching communities with messages in ways traditional sport practices cannot. However, scholars have suggested that the effectiveness of sport to promote positive social change has been minimal. The absence of scientific evidence and an undergirding theoretical framework of how sport can work for social change indicate significant gaps between theory and practice. Thus, the purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we provide the theoretical foundations of sport-for-development theory (SFDT) to showcase how sport interventions can most effectively promote social change and development. Secondly, we utilise the SFDT programme recommendations as a blueprint to compare and contrast two sport interventions that use sport as a vehicle to promote positive social change, one at the global and the other at the local level. Based on this analysis, suggestions for future research and practice are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Lyras, Alexis & Welty Peachey, Jon, 2011. "Integrating sport-for-development theory and praxis," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 311-326.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:14:y:2011:i:4:p:311-326
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2011.05.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Welty Peachey, Jon & Bruening, Jennifer, 2011. "An examination of environmental forces driving change and stakeholder responses in a Football Championship Subdivision athletic department," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 202-219, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Svensson, Per G. & Hambrick, Marion E., 2016. "“Pick and choose our battles” – Understanding organizational capacity in a sport for development and peace organization," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 120-132.
    2. 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.
    3. Reis, Arianne C. & Vieira, Marcelo Carvalho & Sousa-Mast, Fabiana Rodrigues de, 2016. "“Sport for Development” in developing countries: The case of the Vilas Olímpicas do Rio de Janeiro," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 107-119.
    4. Cunningham, George B., 2013. "Theory and theory development in sport management," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-4.
    5. 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.
    6. Rowe, Katie & Shilbury, David & Ferkins, Lesley & Hinckson, Erica, 2016. "Challenges for sport development: Women's entry level cycling participation," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 417-430.
    7. repec:cog:socinc:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:130-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cohen, Adam & Peachey, Jon Welty, 2015. "The making of a social entrepreneur: From participant to cause champion within a sport-for-development context," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 111-125.
    9. Harris, Kevin & Adams, Andrew, 2016. "Power and discourse in the politics of evidence in sport for development," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 97-106.
    10. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:3:p:243-251 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2801-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:5:p:443-454 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. 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.


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