League Bilong Laif: rugby, education and sport-for-development partnerships in Papua New Guinea

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sport, Education and Society, 2016, 21 (4), pp. 513 - 530
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. League Bilong Laif (LBL) is a sport-for-development (SFD) programme that was established in 2013 as a three-way partnership between the Australian Government, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government (Department of Education) and the Australian Rugby League Commission (National Rugby League). As a contribution to addressing low rates of school attendance and significant problems with anti-social behaviour within PNG communities, LBL was designed to contribute to (1) improvements in student engagement with education in and out of the classroom; and (2) communication of positive social messages, with a focus on respect generally, and gender equity in particular. This paper discusses the qualitative review of the pilot phase of the LBL project, and the implications for programme design and delivery for education outcomes through a SFD programme. Data were collected through a combination of 23 interviews and focus groups with 33 individual representatives from relevant organisations and government departments in the areas of sport, education and community development. Preliminary findings indicate that despite a challenging beginning, the LBL programme has made some progress in terms of the initial development of programme aims and stakeholder engagement, largely because of the rigorous design process that kept desired programme outcomes at the forefront.
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