Reflections from scholars on barriers and strategies in sport-for-development research

Jon Welty-Peachey, Adam Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although there is a plethora of literature calling for changes and improvements to the methodology and theory in sport-for-development (SFD) research, a first-hand account of the initial barriers and challenges faced by scholars in SFD research has not been undertaken, nor has there been a synthesis of strategies that scholars have tapped to overcome these issues. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine barriers and challenges that scholars encounter when they initially consider engaging in SFD research. Additionally, this study serves to explore strategies that are used to overcome these barriers and challenges. We interviewed eight well-established SFD scholars for this study. The initial barriers to engaging in SFD research are scholars’ perceptions that SFD organizations have had negative experiences working with academics and challenges posed by the higher education system. A number of concrete strategies were identified for targeting these barriers and working within higher education to advance SFD research. Drawn from the findings, implications for engaging in the SFD field are elucidated and future research directions are outlined.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-27
JournalJournal of Sport for Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2015

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