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This content is taken from the The International Platform on Sport and Development, Commonwealth Secretariat & Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)'s online course, Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes. Join the course to learn more.
3 gymnasts support each other in a complex acrobatic structure. The gymnasts represent Participants (at the top), balanced on Sports Organisations and finally government at the base. A misalignment could cause the structure to tumble.

What is sport policy and who is it for?

Sport policy is fundamentally about maximising participation and potential at all levels: local grassroots organisations through to national governments, individuals through to countries and global communities.

No-one should get left behind or feel excluded from participating in sport. Every sport-connected organisation has a role to play in moving sport development forward, and policy is one way to achieve this.

Sport and development policy utilises sport as a tool for contributing to wider global goals, which can be useful to all.

It is important to remember that every person or group who contributes to the development of a policy is a ‘policymaker’. It’s very likely you are already a policymaker, even if you’ve not used the term before.

Developing a policy mindset - bigger picture thinking 

A key skill needed for policy development is consideration of the bigger picture.

Understanding how sport can support organisational objectives, whilst also taking account of bigger social, economic, environmental and/or political forces that impact upon the practical implementation of policy, is crucial for your policy to be effective. For everybody involved, policy is about moving in the same direction, owning risks, and delivering intended change.

Stakeholder engagement enables alignment between the problem and scoped activities for change. Considering existing strategies and evidence gathering along the way helps develop robust policy implementation.

It might seem unclear how to achieve all this now, but hopefully it will make a lot more sense by the end of this week!

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This article is from the free online course:

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

The International Platform on Sport and Development