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Abstract

With the worldwide rise in noncommunicable disease, physical inactivity, obesity, and the global presence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), health and sport science practitioners must be able to address each of these health domains while considering frameworks for the most urgent health and human development priorities in a sustainable manner. The sector of sport for development, which uses physical activity, sport, and game-based programming to address specific development and peace initiatives to empower individuals and communities, is one such approach that practitioners can employ to address such challenges. During the 2000-2015 era of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the sport for development sector used sport to address several MDGs, contributing most significantly towards improving HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behavior changes. Practitioners are still using sport to address the 2015-2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This article explores case studies of 17 sport for development initiatives that are meeting key targets for each of the 17 SDGs. Furthermore, it provides recommendations for how to further advance sport for development’s contributions. By synthesizing cost effective analyses and discussing key components to further the sport for development field, this article maps a way forward to advance sport for development as a cost-effective and viable tool for addressing the SDGs, reducing the effects of unresolved ACEs, and promoting physical activity to help individuals and communities lead healthy, empowered lives.

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