Learnes from across six continents have joined the first free online course in sport and sustainable development

More than 2400 learners from 152 countries have joined the first free online course on sport and sustainable development.

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing effective policies and programmes was launched on July 20 by the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev), the Australian Government and Commonwealth Secretariat.

It aims to maximise the contributions that sport can make to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other development priorities.


The course has been embraced by a wide range of individuals and organisations across six continents. It is free and open access, and has been designed to build capacity among individuals and organisations using sport for development in their policies and programmes.

Ben Howard, Chair of the sportanddev Steering Board and Pacific Sports Partnerships Programme Manager, welcomed the response.

He said: “This course has been more than three years in the making and we are thrilled to see so many individuals across countries, continents and cultures join its first iteration.

“We have very good engagement rates compared to other open online courses, and we will use learner and expert feedback to improve the course in stages.”


Learner feedback has been exceptionally positive to date, with many participants indicating they will use the information, tools and resources from the course in their policies, programmes and projects.

One learner commented: “This has been an enormous investment for me and my organisation. I have encouraged my colleagues to take this course as well and others on this platform, so we are on the same page. The learning has been incredible and the opportunities and options to make change immense. Thank you for this opportunity.”

The course features contributions from around the world, and was designed in conjunction with an expert reference group and academic team. It empowers learners to explore aspects of programme design and implementation and understand how to measure the impact of policies and programmes. It also explores key concepts on sport and gender equality, disability, human rights, social inclusion, peacebuilding and safeguarding, with practical insights from experts. The course is deliberately interactive and includes engaging video and audio content, as well as encouraging learners to share their on-ground experiences and insights at every stage. 

To register for the course, visit the sign-up page here.

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