The Contribution of Sport to Development Objectives INTO 3010 – Dry. Owen Willis David Lipton – B00577231 The last two decades have seen a rapid increase in the use of sport in development and peace building (Kay & Outfield, 2013). Non Governmental Organizations such as Right to Play and Magic Bus have worked to deliver this new branch of development, formally recognized by leading international bodies as a viable means to address social, economic, and development challenges (Kay & Outfield, 2013). As a result, the sport for development and peace (SAD) movement has gained increased profile and credibility.
Today, sport is being widely used by many agencies to promote social and economic change across the globe. However, with this increase in SAD comes a greater demand to analyze the role of sport in development. Questions must be asked such as; what are the positive and negative impacts sports have on development efforts? What development objectives do sports attempt to assist accomplish? And finally, does the current SAD system truly bring about development; or does it continue to abet/function within the same system that generates social inequality?
This paper seeks to answer these questions, y examining two of the most qualified pieces of literature to speak on SAD. These include Simon Dearness’s Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology, as well as Tees Kay and Oliver Outfield’s The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development Through Sport. In doing so, these novels will be compared, contrasted, and critiqued on their views and assessment of the prevailing SAD structure. The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development Through Sport and Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology are different in almost every single way.
The greatest difference teen these two pieces of literature is their view on what the development goals of SAD should be. Tees Kay and Oliver Outfield understand the prevailing SAD structure as a viable and successful tool to deliver six different forms of development. These include youth, education, health, gender, diversity, and peace building (Kay & Outfield, 2013). Through this blueprint, sports allow many development goals to be realized. Physical activity assists young people in staying healthy (Kay & Outfield, 2013).
It promotes values such as tolerance, co-operation and respect that can be transferred to non- ports contexts (Kay & Outfield, 2013). In addition, sport can also help to improve community development efforts. Although it does not directly cure global social, political, and economic challenges, it can be used to strengthen established development approaches and contribute to specific formal policy goals (Kay & Outfield, 2013). For example, well designed sports based initiatives can be a practical, cost effective way to work with target groups in order to deliver the vital skills and learning necessary for achieving development objectives.
In stark contrast, Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology views SAD as a tool for political uprising and social movements (Darnel, 2012). It suggests that sports should provide a social and cultural node around which political organizing and resistance occurs (Darnel, 2012). Further, it offers the ability to connect these local movements that challenge inequality transitionally. Through this scheme, sports should be viewed primarily and exclusively as an entry point for locals to tackle global political inequities. It is here, where Darnel critiques the current SAD system in place that is supported by Kay and Outfield.
He believes that the current SAD reduces international development to a process of attending to the symptoms of globalizes inequality and rarely its causes (Darnel, 2012). He argues that SAD must seek to challenge and deconstruct global hierarchies, as opposed to us porting evermore-creative ways of motivating people to survive within transnational inequalities (Darnel, 2012). In doing so, SAD development initiatives should strive to support the self-determination and struggles for sustainable self-sufficiency of marginalia people more so than attempting to ‘motivate’ or ‘educate’ them towards proper conduct (Darnel, 2012).
As SAD currently functions, Darnel argues, positioning and monopolizing sport as a tool towards rights-based development does not address or overcome social inequality in any essential way (Darnel, 2012). Through this critique, Darnel blames Contemporary SOP, supported by Kay and Outfield, for having its roots in capitalism and unilateralism. In considering it’s philosophy of competitive and merit-based achievement, SAD privileges efficiency and effectiveness over other development values and conceptualizations (Darnel, 2012).
Through this development apparatus based on economics, the issue f development and its complexities and challenges often comes to rest on what can be afforded (or not) rather than the formulation of alternative values or approaches (Darnel, 2012). Darnel also blames the praxis of SAD, of which include post-colonial, feminist, and post-structuralism social theories. He blames SAD for ignoring the material and discursive hierarchies that colonialism solidified (Darnel, 2012).
As a result, it abets the colonial continuities that privilege whiteness, secures the “natural” dominance of the global north and propagates a first world subject vision based on benevolent inclusion (Darnel, 2012). Darnel believes that such a measure of critical reflection is crucial, and that it is necessary to move forward and improve SAD effectiveness. He insists that in order to be successful in the future, SAD must first determine why development is needed before implementing projects and initiatives; keeping in mind that SAD must dismantle the global hierarchical divisions put in place by traditional power relations.
This allows for sport to acknowledge, and attend to the root causes of inequality rather than the symptoms. In doing so, sports based development programs can be sustained for the long-term. Further, development initiatives address the historical, social, and political organization and histories that has formulated the inequality (Darnel, 2012). Subsequently, solutions can be built through a bottom up approach that are more suitable to correct the problem by supporting self-determination both within the political economy and amidst social hierarchies (Darnel, 2013).
In addition, Darnel argues that if sport and SAD is to play a major role in development, it must be used in a way that challenges the conditions of global inequality. Therefore, SAD must critically engage with the politics and leslies of inequality. It is here that the starting point must begin, rather than a universal language of meaning of sport This type of critique and critical assessment of SAD cannot be found in The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development Through Sport. This novel does not provide any in depth investigation of SAD, or its origins, as it attempts to solely focus on the positives.
Although it does provide in great detail the benefits of sport in development for youth, education, health, gender, diversity, and peace building, it fails to acknowledge the many flaws it possesses. Further, it fails to acknowledge areas where this room for improvement as well as the direction SAD is headed. Another critique of The Guide is that it does not discuss the causes for sports-based programs negative outcomes. Despite it acknowledging its existence, the guide fails to discuss this in detail.
In addition, it fails to recognize the fact that the historical roots of sport could be at fault for these negative outcomes. Dearness’s argument that sport is flawed and imposes economics, capitalist, and inalienable ideals on development goals is more accurate (Darnel, 2012). While his discussion on SAD is overly radical, he does present an accurate point of sport having the potential to formulate violent competition, as well as solidifying racial and gender hierarchies; further cementing the exclusion of non-participants (Darnel, 2012).
It is for these several reasons that SAD initiatives should be ground up and not be simply put into practice with the belief sustainable change will come about; as suggested by The Commonwealth Guide. However, within The Commonwealth Guide there are many excellent points and points of discussion that are not discussed by Darnel. One of these major areas of concussion is the positive impact SAD programs are having on children and youth.
Sports provide the opportunity for children to enhance their ‘social capital’, become connected to social support networks, gain leadership skills, build self-esteem, and gain educational content (Kay & Outfield, 2013). Many of these positive aspects are applicable and transferable life skills that are more difficult to learn in other circumstances. This example of the positive impacts of SAD on development, of which they have presented many, provides evidence of how Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology is very limited in scope.
Darnel fails to recognize or acknowledge the positive outcomes of SAD towards difference sectors of the international development apparatus. In addition, his push towards a new configuration of SAD which brings about political uprising and social movements may not be tangible given the prevailing social, political, and economic circumstances. Further, the amount of time it WOUld take to see change from this new SAD arrangement would leave those currently struggling with inequalities and development struggles unassisted.
The guide also does an excellent job of providing evidence for its discussion on the positive impacts of SAD. For every development objective, Kay and Outfield provide support, demonstrating the effectiveness of No’s in fulfilling their SAD programs. For example, under advancing health through sport, Kay and Outfield provide discussion on six different No’s working on projects that fulfill their development objectives. One of these includes the Jump Rope for Heart (RIFF) program based out of the Caribbean (Kay & Outfield, 2013).
Designed by the Caribbean sport and development agency, JERK encourages children to adopt lifestyle activities and informed nutritional meal choices (Kay & Outfield, 2013). It is facilitated by community volunteers ND combines the simple, low cost, indoor/outdoor physical activity of jumping rope with an integrated curriculum approach that infuses health information and education into other subject areas (Kay & Outfield, 2013). This sort of discussion, which provides testimony to the success of SAD in fulfilling development efforts, is something Darnel fails to do.
Despite the course of action Darnel has proposed for SAD cannot be supported with data, it does demonstrate that Dearness’s assessment Of the current SAD format being ineffective is simply inaccurate. Essentially, we are left with two different theories on Sports for Development and Peace. On one side of the spectrum The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development Through Sport applies problem-solving theory. Problem solving theory takes the world as it finds it, with the prevailing social and power relationships and the institutions into which they are organized as the given framework for action.
Thus, Kay and Outfield attempt to justify the work of SAD that is completed within the given parameters. On the other side of the spectrum, Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology applies critical theory. Critical theory is the opposite, critical in the sense that it stands apart from the prevailing order Of he world and asks how that order came about. It doesn’t accept the status quo, as the problem persisting was established of the framework/ system that is currently in place.
Therefore Darnel falls in line with critical thinkers such as Robert Cox, who believe problem-solving theory, or SAD in this context, is legitimizing an unjust system, which promotes global social inequality. Thus, instead of putting a Band-Aid on the problem, Darnel insists on dismantling the prevailing SAD format. In response, SAD can assist in bringing about a political uprising that will change the current structure that systematically generates inequality. Despite running counter in theory and action, both texts agree that one of the major impacts of Sport for Development and Peace is its capacity to challenge oppression.
By ensuring that SAD initiatives are bottom-up and include those marginalia people throughout all stages of the project cycle, particularly that of persons marginalia along the intersections of race, class, and gender, the success of these initiatives is dramatically increased (Darnel, 2012). Further, it strives to be culturally specific while taking diverse forms, from transnational programs to small-scale grass root activity (Kay & Outfield, 2013). In addition, I was quite impressed with Dearness’s discussion on remaining sport.
Because it is characterized by competition and the solidification of social hierarchies, sport runs counter to the vision of social change that SAD espouses (Darnel, 2012). Therefore, there may be an opportunity to re imagine sport, one that promotes greater inclusiveness and possesses characters that mirror those of development teachings. This strategy, I believe would fall in line with the goals of The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development Through Sport. In conclusion, these texts presented very different perspectives on how to utilize sport as an effective tool to promote international development.