"Leadership and empowerment through sport": the intentions, hopes, ambitions and reality of creating a sport-for-development organisation in Cape Town

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Leadership and Empowerment through Sport (LETS) was created in February 2013 to deliver sports leadership programmes in collaboration with governmental departments and community projects in Cape Town, South
Africa. This case study research project was undertaken to gain an understanding of the complexities of creating a sport-for-development organisation; to determine the flaws that existed within the process; and to develop possible solutions for their successful resolution. It was also an attempt to connect theoretical perspectives with empirical observations with a clear research aim of informing the way in which the LETS organisation would develop in the future. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and questionnaires with participants and partners on two pilot programmes delivered in Cape Town in 2014. Findings indicate that whilst there were a number of positive elements including the use of a values-based pedagogy, policy links and the desire to work in a collaborative way, there were greater challenges facing the organisation than it was prepared for. The most
fundamental issue was the lack of both cultural awareness and community engagement, which highlighted further issues around pedagogy, the relevance for the participants, the methodological approach, and the monitoring and evaluation of the programmes themselves. Looking forward, the research suggests that the adoption of a Participatory Action Research methodology andprogramme development through the framework of critical pedagogy will increase the opportunity for community ownership and individual empowerment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sport for Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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