Sports development’s contribution to social policy objectives

The difficult relationship between politics and evidence

Authored by: Fred Coalter

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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In the 1990s sport became an increasingly important aspect of both national and international social policy. For example, in the United Kingdom sport became an important aspect of ‘New’ Labour’s social inclusion agenda. The expected contribution of sport is summarised by Policy Action Team 10’s (DCMS 1999: 23) statement that ‘sport can contribute to neighbourhood renewal by improving communities’ performance on four key indicators – health, crime, employment and education’. Similar, if less well-developed, policies can be seen in Australia (Australian Sports Commission 2006) and Canada (Bloom et al. 2005).

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