Understanding the operationalisation of sports diplomacy in the sport for development sector in Japan

Project: Research

Project Details


The purpose of this research is to advance a research project on the intersection between sports diplomacy and sport for development (SFD).

Thus far, much of the research in sports diplomacy has been largely theoretical and conceptual, as detailed in a recent literature review (Postlethwaite, Jenkin & Sherry, 2023). Our research team have sought to advance the field by exploring how sports diplomacy is operationalised by those working in programmes that relate to sports diplomacy. Sports diplomacy is being increasingly operationalised in practice, for example Australia’s Sports Diplomacy Strategy and the EU’s Towards an EU Sport Diplomacy project. However there has been minimal academic research to investigate how this operationalisation works in practice.

Our current focus is to explore how sports diplomacy is operationalised in SFD. We have recently started this process in the USA. This data collection is ongoing but will end in May 2024, and we are keen to expand this concept into other geographical contexts, such as Japan. The data is collected via an online survey and includes questions on five areas: how sports diplomacy is understood; how their work aligns with wider government policy; what partnerships are utilised in their work; how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are utilised in their work; and how they monitor and evaluate their diplomacy work.

The purpose of this visit will involve meetings with Aya Noguchi (Assistant Professor, Seijo University) and Sho Sato (Japan Sport Council) to advance this research project with face to face meetings. A key part of this trip would also be to build capacity and an understanding of how Japan and UK universities can work with governmental departments to better inform evidence-led policy. Therefore this trip will involve meetings with other organisations involved in the Sport for Tomorrow (SFT) programme, a flagship legacy programme managed by the Japan Sport Council.
Short titleGreat Britain Sasakawa Foundation - Travel Grant
Effective start/end date1/04/2431/05/25


  • The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation: £2,380.00


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