Development through sport?

Sport in support of female empowerment in Delhi, India

Authored by: Tess Kay

Routledge Handbook of Sports Development

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415479967
eBook ISBN: 9780203885581
Adobe ISBN: 9781134019717


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Where there is poverty, or exclusion, or some other form of disadvantage, girls are far more likely to be adversely affected than boys. In terms of national development, a country cannot flourish if half of the population is left out of the development process.

(Oxfam 2006: 1)

I thought before the programme came in, before I played netball, I thought that girls can’t do much in life, there are very limited things that girls can do, and I was happy and satisfied with that. But the moment this came into my life my entire idea about this has changed, and now I believe the only thing that matters is if you really think that you can do it, and you have the confidence and the will to do it, nothing can stop you.

(Participant, GOAL Project 2008)
This chapter explores issues surrounding the use of sport in support of female empowerment in international development contexts. The chapter is based on work with the GOAL project, a programme for young women operated by the NAZ Foundation (India) Trust. NAZ is a New Delhi-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health since 1994; sport is a relatively recent addition to the Trust’s range of activities. The GOAL programme uses netball as a medium through which young women aged 13–19 can be reached, allowing NAZ to deliver a programme of sport, education and life skills in Delhi’s poorer communities. The overarching aim of the project is to empower women to take control of their own lives and, beyond that, to become leaders and social activists in their communities.

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