Panel Discussion on the Future of Academia in Sport for Development

Panel Discussion on the Future of Academia in Sport for Development

As part of the Institute for European Sport Development and Leisure Studies’ (IESF) longstanding cooperation with the German Development Corporation (GIZ), we have been investigating the current status of academic work and cooperation in the field of Sport for Development.

Though the field has grown significantly over the last 25 years, academic activity remains heavily centred in the Global North and is subject to many disciplinary silos. Put together, these trends severely limit cooperation, exclude different voices and limit innovation in the field.

To discuss these issues and put forward solutions, the IESF recently organised organised a panel discussion at the World Congress of Sociology of Sport (ISSA) on the 8th of June 2022 in Tübingen with S4D researchers from across the globe. Namely, this panel, which was organized with support from GIZ, brought together experts in S4D from different academic disciplines (PE, Development Studies, Public Health, Education) from the Global South (Ghana, Brazil) and the Global North (Canada, Czech Republic). In particular, we had the pleasure of welcoming Prof. Billy Graeff of the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, Prof. Simona Safarikova of the Palacky University Olomouc in Czechia, Dr. Lyn Ametewee of the BALLE Foundation, and Prof. Tegwen Gadais of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Our panelists debated about regional and disciplinary cooperation in S4D while bringing in perspectives from their own regions and backgrounds. Approximately 20 prominent academics from the field attended the session and the panellists were able to engage with participants throughout the conference on a more informal basis. Key recommendations to emerge include integrating S4D into the curricula of different disciplines (e.g. Development Studies, Public Health), integrating the voices and needs of communities within S4D as a whole, and continuing public awareness raising of S4D.

During the coming months, we will further develop on these activities and recommendations. If you are an academic in the field of S4D and would like to reach out to us, please do not hesitate to contact Louis Moustakas at l.moustakas(a)