Norway

Charity or development?

Authored by: Hans K. Hognestad

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315455174-44

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Abstract

Norwegian government-funded sports organizations have played important roles in the history of international sport and development collaborations between the global South and the global North ever since the early ‘Sports for all’ projects were launched in parts of Africa in the early 1980s. This involvement is contextualized within an idealistic and amateurist sporting tradition typical of the Scandinavian welfare state. This chapter provides a critical analysis of how these values have shaped SDP projects and programmes in the South but also scrutinizes how these initiatives have changed over the last 40 years. The paper argues that the volunteer tradition of the Norwegian sports movement has generated a normative orthodoxy which carries mechanisms of exclusion and patronage. My findings from studies in Zambia show that partner organizations collaborating on SDP projects with children and youth do not necessarily share the same targets and intentions. In the global North sport is leisure for most young people. For many in the global South questions of survival are involved. This raises moral issues concerning the extent to which sport, development and peace projects should provide opportunities for ‘all’ and to what extent such projects should also provide a platform for young people who are pursuing sport careers.

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