These days Boston, search MA (USA) is the home of the ISDPA 2010 Power of Sport Summit where practitioners, nurse researchers, activists, advocates, educators, policy makers and academics work together to define and address current and emerging issues involving the intersection of sport and social change. The works of the summit combine panel discussions with individual presentations and workshops many of the latter one taking place during subject-centred break-out sessions such as youth, disability, monitoring and evaluation or Olympism. According to the organizer’s website:
The objective of the Summit is to share knowledge by generating discussion and presenting strategies that focus on what is working, what is possible, and what important actions are needed to help advance sport for development and peace.
The morning panel opened with questions regarding the role and definitions of the field, one of the common points that the speakers found was the need of identifying/creating mechanisms that would enable evaluation and monitoring of related programs. This in turn calls for a more research that is able to meet both the practical requirements of the professional environments as well as the academia’s call for extensive queries, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research.
Of particular interest was the Ripple Effect model presented by Dr John Sudgen of the University of Brighton according to which programs should be designed based on research that transcends social and political context and that relies on concepts of human rights and social justice. In this way, he argued, programs developed to reach a particular group could, through their pragmatic development, reach further audiences including policy makers.
The second panel of the day brought some examples of educational programs and curricula developed in Trinidad Tobago, Germany and South Africa. In these presentations a lot of emphasis was put on employability skills and on depicting the universities as a place where students can get prepared for the working environments they are going to join later on. Practical projects, internships and collaborations with institutions already working in the filed were all deemed as successful techniques.
The afternoon is dedicated to other break-out sessions and will end with a planning session.