Panel Discussion on the Future of Academia in Sport for Development

As part of the longstanding cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Sport University (GSU) has been investigating the current status of academic work and cooperation in the field of Sport for Development.

Though the field has grown significantly over the last 25 years, academic activity remains heavily centred in the Global North and is subject to many disciplinary silos. Put together, these trends severely limit cooperation, exclude different voices and limit innovation in the field.

To discuss these issues and put forward solutions, the GSU recently organised a panel discussion at the World Congress of Sociology of Sport (ISSA) on the 8th of June 2022 in Tübingen with S4D researchers from across the globe. It brought together experts in S4D from different academic disciplines (Physical Education, Development Studies, Public Health, Education) from the Global South (Ghana, Brazil) and the Global North (Canada, Czech Republic) and was moderated by Louis Moustakas, German Sport University Cologne.

In particular Prof. Billy Graeff of the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, Prof. Simona Safarikova of the Palacky University Olomouc in Czechia, Dr. Lyn Ametewee of the BALLE Foundation, and Prof. Tegwen Gadais of the Université du Québec à Montréal debated about regional and disciplinary cooperation in S4D while bringing in perspectives from their own regions and backgrounds

Approximately 20 prominent academics from the field attended the session and the panellists were able to engage with participants throughout the conference on a more informal basis. Key recommendations to emerge include integrating S4D into the curricula of different disciplines (e.g. Development Studies, Public Health), integrating the voices and needs of communities within S4D as a whole, and continuing public awareness raising of S4D.

If you are an academic in the field of S4D and would like to get in touch with the responsible persons, please do not hesitate to contact Louis Moustakas at