Integrating sport-for-development theory and praxis

Alexis Lyras, Jon Welty Peachey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Global sport governance
  • Olympic education
  • Olympism
  • Sport and social change
  • Sport for development theory
  • Sport-for-development and peace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating sport-for-development theory and praxis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this