Sport for Development 

If sport “has the power to change the world,” as the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela said, and if sport has been around for thousands of years, why do so many continue to suffer poverty, a lack of education, or access to basic human rights?   

Many projects that use sport for peace, good or development struggle because of a lack of commercial funding, academic support, or a basic understanding of often complex local, national, and international political situations. A consistent, sustainable, and effective way that links government bodies, development organisations, and sport has been, until now, missing.  

The Sports Diplomacy Alliance is an enterprise with a truly global presence. We build and lead diverse, passionate, and forward-thinking project teams full of local and international champions. And we have worked on major Sport for Development projects for decades. .  

Mandela was right. Sport can be used to promote education, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Human Rights (especially the Right to Play), or help girls and women in patriarchal societies. However, to scale the impact of Sports for Development programs in the twenty-first century requires a strategic approach that links key stakeholders via sport. Sports Diplomacy provides that missing link, while also ensuring outcomes in aid, development, peace, and human security.  

At The Alliance, we are determined to continue harnessing the power of sport to tackle the major social, cultural and environmental challenges all humans face, on and off the pitch.



How can Sport for Development providers benefit from Sports Diplomacy? 

  • It is a proven method of measuring the positive impact sport has on the United Nations’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UNESCO’s Kazan Action Plan. 
  • It enhances collaboration between stakeholders from government bodies, private businesses, academic institutions and aid organisations.
  • Sports Diplomacy is a low-risk, low-cost and often high-profile way to increase the diplomatic, economic, and social impact of your project.  
  • The Alliance fills the void left by the 2017 dissolution of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace.  
  • The mandate of Sports Diplomacy is a progressive one: to strategically use sport in a way that makes a positive contribution to human society, civilization and culture. 
  • When deployed correctly, Sports Diplomacy links grassroots projects to elite international partners, funding sources, and opportunities.  
  • Sports Diplomacy is a new approach that complements, scales and boosts existing human aid, development, and peace strategies. 

Let the Alliance help you ‘develop’ your Sports Diplomacy game plan 

Our team of global experts provides the following services: 
  •  Designing, implementing, and evaluating international Sport for Development projects. 
  • Linking Sport for Aid, Development, Defence or Peace initiatives to diplomatic strategies and foreign policy White Papers,projects and partners  
  • Strategic advice on sports Legacy projects relating to major sporting events, tournaments, or occurrences  
  • Providing bespoke training, and upskilling on Sports Diplomacy  
  • Advising countries and partners on how to build new relationships with major players in world sport, business, academe and government. 

Projects, publications, and preferred partners 

Our team has worked on well-known Sports Diplomacy and Sport for Development projects globally, including providing research, consultation, and expertise on the following projects:  

  • UNESCO’s Educational Linkage Through International Sports initiative. 
  • Sportanddev’s ‘Sport for Sustainable Development’ digital course, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 
  • The US State Department’s grassroots Sports Diplomacy projects around the country’s bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Ready to deliver real impact with your next sport project?

Kick off with the Alliance team today