Social Value of Sport


Within the topic of ‘Social Value of Sport’ it is our goal to get more insight into the relation between sport and society. We make use of a broad definition of ‘sport’, which includes grassroots and elite sport, as well as traditional and alternative sport and organisational types. We also use a broad reference for ‘society’ by including individuals, groups, communities, organisations/institutions and countries. We specifically look at the interrelation between sport and society with a special focus on ‘participation’ and ‘development’.

Development of sport

With regard to development of sport, the focus is on the analysis of the effects of various societal phenomena on sport. We thereby look at the influence of societal challenges such as super diversity, social in- and exclusion, poverty, youth unemployment, school dropout, quality care, corporate social responsibility, ageing, social innovation, detention, children’s rights, crime, juvenile delinquency, racism and public safety. We attempt to understand the extent to which these phenomena (will) have an impact on the meaning and organisation of sport.

Development through sport

With regard to development through sport we investigate, among other things, the influence of sport on personal development, well-being/health and social cohesion. We look at various contexts (a.o. sport clubs and -federations, community sport, sport events, schools, youth and social work, special youth care, detention centers, health sector) and on different levels (such as amateur and professional sport; grassroots and elite sport; local and national policy). We look at diverse groups (a.o. athletes, sport inactives; sport organisers and coaches; youth; elderly; ethnic minorities; socially deprived groups, such as people with disabilities, people in poverty, substance abusers, detainees, asylum seekers, etc.). Programmes that make use of sport as a developmental means, are increasingly being referred to as ‘sport-plus’ initiatives.



Do you want to obtain more insight into the complexity of your social sporting activities? Through a customized plan we help you to find a way to monitor and evaluate your activities by making a program theory.

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Are you an organiser of a sport-for-development programme or a sport club who (want to) focus more on competence development for youth at-risk? Make use of our competence toolkit. 

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The research group ‘Sport & Society’ can help to develop a tailor-made toolkit that will provide additional support resulting in more effective programmes for specific organisations and target groups.

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