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The motives and social capital gains of Sport for Development and Peace volunteers: A comparative analysis of international and national volunteers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Sports Volunteering
EditorsAngela Benson, Nicholas Wise
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN (Print)978-1138697775
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2017
The popularity of using sport as a tool for international development has escalated in recent years, with 166 registered organisations globally rising to over 700 in less than a decade (International Platform for Sport and Development, 2016; Kidd, 2008), thereby increasing the opportunities for unique international sports volunteering experiences. Fuelled by the voluntourism phenomenon of combining volunteering with international travel, sports enthusiasts too are travelling the world to ‘make a difference’. Moreover, the United Nations commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and more recently the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community has begun to gain ‘consciousness of the full magnitude of sport’s potential as a tool in achieving development goals’ (Beutler, 2008, p.359). As such, sport has been recognised for its potential contribution to a variety of international development agendas in global south countries including education, health improvements, gender relations and peace (Beutler, 2008; Darnell & Hayhurst, 2012; Levermore & Beacom, 2009; Lindsey & Grattan, 2012; United Nations, 2016). The growth of institutions, corporations and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) using sport as a tool for social mobility in developing countries has placed the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) sector within broader debates of northern hegemony (Giulianotti, 2004; Hayhurst, 2009; Kidd, 2008). Critical analyses of the SDP sector has suggested that such INGO programmes operate within hegemonic relations in which privileged groups (i.e. the international organisation) maintain a position of benefit and leverage over others (i.e. national organisations in the global south) through social and cultural negotiations. This chapter is based upon the context of Sport INGOs’ tendency to use volunteer-based delivery models within Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which has been described as a prime location for SDP activities (Levermore & Beacom, 2009). Using a combination of post-colonial and social capital theory the chapter draws on the suggestion by Darnell and Hayhurst (2012) to illustrate the perspectives, motivations and personal gains of the SDP sector’s front line: its volunteers, as a topic for critical inquiry. In doing so, compares the motives of international volunteers from a global north country (UK) and national volunteers from a global south nation (Cameroon) who work together on the same programme. In order to understand the context of international and national sports volunteers, the chapter comprises of the following sections. Beginning with an outline of the academic context and analytical frameworks of post-colonial and social capital theory, we then move onto an introduction of the research context and methodology. Next, drawing on empirical data we highlight the key similarities and differences of international sports volunteers from Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) and national sports volunteers from Cameroon Cricket Federation (CCF) who have volunteered on a two week project in Cameroon. Finally, we reflect on the data within the context of the theoretical frameworks introduced earlier. By highlighting our chosen case study it is our intention our work provokes debate and reflection by volunteer led organisations operating within an international collaboration.

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