Changing the Game by Changing the Players: sport with and within Communities

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Sport coaching frameworks serve the needs of traditional sports, seeking to increase participation and performance successes. This reflects a well-developed relationship between coaching skillsets and sporting success (Cooper & Allen, 2017). Such skillsets have not, however, evolved fully within broader sporting contexts to support the ‘power of sport’ for community development (Coalter, 2013). Coaches need to operate differently when community/social change outweighs sporting performance. Although current coaching skillsets are expansive, the expertise needed in community contexts has not been the primary focus in traditional training (Adams & Harris, 2014). Framed by these challenges, a strategic partnership of European sport-for-change organisations based in the UK and Holland was formed. Under the project title of ‘Changing the Game by Changing the Players’ and supported by Erasmus+ funding.Drawing upon Scottish and European Community Sport organisations as well as wider Community Education approaches, this programme developed an understanding and methodology for (a) creating safe spaces to develop community sporting practices (Spaaij & Schulenkorf, 2014), (b) understanding conflict management and change to progress new coaching practices (Brandsma, 2017) and, (c) cultivating effective activities into an online manual to benefit organisations working throughout Europe and beyond. Focus was on interdependence through mentoring early career sport coaches located within community settings. For example, co-joining Street Games coaches, non-violent communication and anti-racist sports training to improve sport as a social and communal change agent. This 45 – 60 minute workshop will illuminate community sports practices developed and how it has been integrated into broader community sport engagement beyond Europe. Participants will experience activities to stimulate practitioners and academics alike to consider sport for change. It will contend that sport development models fail to understand how sport needs to exist with and within Communities (Chawansky & Holmes, 2015).
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • Sport Sociology


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