The opportunities and challenges of using cricket as a sport-for-development tool in Samoa

Publisher:
UTS ePRESS
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2014, 6 (1), pp. 76 - 102
Issue Date:
2014-05-05
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This study investigates benefits and challenges associated with the use of sport – in this case cricket – as a community development tool in Samoa. This Pacific Island nation, like others in the region, has been the focus of various development programs in the post-colonial era, with developed economy neighbours like Australia and New Zealand providing aid funding. Some of that has involved sport as a development tool, underpinned either by funding from the national government, foreign aid agencies, or a combination of both. The present paper, by focusing on a cricket for development (CFD) program in Samoa, aims to explore outcomes and limitations associated with the use of sport as a community engagement tool. The paper pursues that goal by examining the activities of relevant sport and government organisations, and – most crucially – it interviews key stakeholders involved in the CFD process in Samoa. In short, the prime purpose of this paper is to identify and interpret – from the perspective of locals – whether the CFD program has brought benefits to Samoan communities, and the challenges and limitations they see thus far. This is important because, to date, there has been an absence of qualitative inquiry into the efficacy of sport for development (SFD) programs in Samoa, and very limited research in a Pacific Islands context.
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