carnegieXchange: School of Sport

Sport for Development Special Interest Group established by Carnegie School of Sport academics

A Sport for Development Special Interest Group has been established by colleagues from the Centre for Social Justice in Sport and Society in the Carnegie School of Sport. If you would like to know more and help shape this group, please get in touch.

Published on 13 Oct 2023
Kids playing with a ball and cones

The idea that sport can have a positive social role underpins much of our work within the Carnegie School of Sport and Centre for Social Justice in Sport and Society. However, in recent decades the term ‘Sport for Development’ (SfD) has become globally recognised and has evolved into a worldwide sector of practice, policy and scholarship. The SfD sector encompasses the range of programmes, organisations, and policies that focus on the use of sport as a tool to achieve health and social outcomes in communities across the globe. The SfD sector has been summarised by the United Nations as the intentional use of sport, including physical activity and play, to tackle specific development objectives in low and middle-income countries and disadvantaged communities in high-income areas. Examples of outcomes that SfD programmes aim to tackle include:

Many organisations including the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation focus on how sport can be used to contribute to national development objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda – a global agenda and blueprint that aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and make sure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. SfD is delivered and enabled by different types of organisations including NGOs, charities, social enterprises, professional sports clubs, international and national sport federations, corporations, and national governments. The organisations operating in the SfD sector vary in size and scope, but tend to share a common theme which is the intentional use of sport interventions as a vehicle to tackle non-sporting objectives at a local, regional, national, and international level.

The aim of our special interest group is to create a space for critical dialogue and encourage collaborative research and enterprise in the UK and internationally. Current areas of interest within the group include:

  • Evaluation and impact methodologies
  • Positive youth development
  • Critical sociological perspectives
  • Partnerships, Policy and Governance
  • Community development
  • Events and tourism
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

The intention is to host seminars, workshops, and other meetings once or twice a semester to debate and share knowledge; collaborate on grant writing bids; disseminate our existing SfD research; support publications and research proposals; and engage with relevant policy and practitioner communities.

If you are interested in joining the group, please email Dr Jo Clarke ( and Dr Dan Bates ( for details.

Dr Jo Clarke

Senior Lecturer / Carnegie School Of Sport

Jo is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Business Management. She delivers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules within the Sport Management Subject Group and her research is interested in the social, cultural and health outcomes of sport. 

Dr Dan Bates

Senior Lecturer / Carnegie School Of Sport

Dan is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Development with a research and teaching focus in sport for development. His work examines issues of inclusion, equity, and social value.