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Welcome to this course on how sport can make a positive difference to the world we live in.

You’ve probably come to this course because you are interested in sport and using it to make a difference. Sport-based policies and programmes can contribute towards change – and this course empowers you to effectively manage policies and programmes.

Whether you are more involved in policies or programmes, this course helps you understand how they relate in order to drive change.

In the video, Oliver Dudfield (previously Head of Sport for Development and Peace at the Commonwealth Secretariat) explains the value and challenges of using sport in development. The Commonwealth has worked widely on this topic, but sport and development is not limited to any regions. Organisations worldwide are using many different sports to tackle a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The growth of sport for development

In fact, the use of sport for development has grown rapidly in the 21st century. A range of public, private, and civil society actors use sport to contribute to outcomes beyond the playing field. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises sport as ‘an enabler of development’ with many organisations now using sport to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, various challenges, including those posed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, limit the impact of such approaches. We will explore these as we move through the course.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you will

  1. have an improved understanding of how sport can be intentionally used to help build stronger, happier and healthier individuals, communities and countries.
  2. be more aware of sport’s risks and limitations.
  3. have a better understanding of the various tools and frameworks that can be applied in your sport and development work.

There is a lot to get through this week but – to use a sporting expression – remember, change is a marathon, not a sprint!

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Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

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