Successful visit by Professor Fred Coalter

Professor Fred CoalterDuring his visit to Australia, the Centre for Sport and Social Impact co-hosted a seminar with VicHealth in Melbourne, Victoria, Tuesday, 7 December 2010. The focus of the presentation addressed the claims made about the social impacts of sport which are frequently not supported by robust evidence. It was argued that a number of factors, including policy-making processes, a desire for economical solutions, and a degree of evangelism from sport lead to a limited understanding of the social benefits of sport programs in a range of contexts. This lack of robust evidence tends to produce policies best described as ill-defined interventions with hard to follow outcomes. A new approach to designing sport programs based on programme theory and processes was presented to enable sport to better explain under what conditions it can deliver social outcomes. This new approach was illustrated with examples from field work on sport-for-development in Africa and the UK.

Relevant Publications

Coalter F. with Taylor J. (2010) Sport-for-Development Impact Study, A research initiative funded by Comic Relief and UK Sport and managed by International Development through Sport.

Coalter F. (n/d) Sport-in-Development A monitoring and evaluation manual, University of Stirling.


Fred is Professor of Sports Policy at the University of Stirling and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Sport and Social Impact at La Trobe University, Melbourne. His research interests relate to the contributions which it is claimed that sport can make to various aspects of social policy. His published work includes A Wider Social Role for Sport: Who’s Keeping the Score? (Routledge, 2007) and he is responsible for compiling Sport England/UK Sport’s on-line research-based Value for Sport Monitor.


The Centre for Sport and Social Impact strives to influence the future of sport management practices and policy and their impact on society through real world research and engagement with industry and government. To showcase current research we are proud to hold this series of seminars for academics and higher research students. You are invited to join us each month during semester 1 and 2 to hear and discuss the latest research on sport management practices and policy. 

For more information 

T: +61 3 9479 3770