New book tackles sport and youth development
The book, 'Sport for Development: What Game Are we Playing?', draws on extensive real-life experience and the large-scale survey-based work of Professor Fred Coalter, in monitoring and evaluating a series of sport for development projects in India, Africa and the UK: making it the only book of its kind.
The work, which began in 2005, was funded by Comic Relief and UK Sport to develop their understanding of the use of sport in social change and the ways of evaluating such projects.
In India, Professor Coalter worked with Magic Bus in the Dharavi slum, which was subsequently the location for the film Slumdog Millionaire. In Uganda, he worked with The Kids' League in the camps for those displaced in the war between the Ugandan government and the Lords Resistance Army.
Speaking about the book Professor Coalter said: "This is not simply a text book: it contains personal and emotional reflections on some quite traumatic experiences including Ugandan refugee camps, Mumbai slums, railway children in Calcutta and post-war Liberia.
"Although as an academic I have a duty to remain sceptical and slightly pessimistic about the claims made for many programmes, I have dedicated the book to the 'optimists of the will' - the many extraordinary people who I met throughout my research. Working in the most dreadful circumstances they remain generous, innovative and optimistic people. Nevertheless policy makers and project workers need to be more analytical and realistic about what they can achieve and how they can achieve it."