Sport for development in the Commonwealth

Sport for development in the Commonwealth

Presenter: Prof. Bruce Kidd, Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS)


Prof. Bruce Kidd is the Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport and is also a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. Bruce Kidd is currently in Australia working with Griffith University on the organisation of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In this presentation Bruce talked about sport and development including:

• the evolution of ‘sport for development’ movement.
• recent decisions on sport for development initiatives by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)* Committee on Cooperation through Sport (CCCS)
• the strengths and weaknesses of the sport for development approach
• his recommendations for greater effectiveness of sport for development initiatives.

Bruce also discussed a key aim of the CHOGM and Commonwealth Secretariat to use the Commonwealth Games to increase awareness of sport for development activities.


Bruce Kidd, Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. He is a former dean of the Faculty.

His qualifications include: an honorary doctor of laws from Dalhousie University, A.M. Education from the University of Chicago, Master of Arts and PhD in History from York University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from the University of Toronto.

Bruce teaches and has written extensively about the history and political economy on Canadian and international sport and physical activity. He has authored or edited eleven books and hundreds of articles, papers, lectures, plays and film and radio scripts. He has also wrote Struggle for Canadian Sport (University of Toronto Press 1996) and co-edited with Heather Dichter, Olympic Reform Ten Years Later (Routledge 2012).

Bruce has worked with numerous local, national and international bodies to advance opportunities for physical education and sport including the Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment Team Up Foundation and the Selection Committee for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Scholarship Committee of the Olympic Study Centre, International Olympic Committee.

In recent years, he has become deeply involved in development through sport. He was one of the founders of Commonwealth Games, Canada’s International Development through Sport Program, which conducts programs of broadly based development in some 22 African and Caribbean Commonwealth countries, and served as the program’s volunteer chair for many years. He initiated the University of Toronto’s partnership with the University of Zambia on strengthening teacher preparation in physical education to enhance preventive education about HIV/AIDS. In 2007, he was commissioned by the International Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace to prepare literature reviews on sport for development and peace, coordinating a team of University of Toronto faculty and graduate students; that project frames the ongoing work of the United Nations.

Bruce has been involved in the Olympic Movement throughout his life. He participated in the Olympic Games as an athlete (track and field, 1964), journalist (1976), contributor to the arts and culture programs (1976 and 1988) and accredited social scientist (1988 and 2000). He was founding chair of the Olympic Academy of Canada (1983–1993) and lectures at the International Olympic Academy. He is an honorary member of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Bruce won the six miles race at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia and was twice elected Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year by Canadian Press. He still holds the Canadian junior record for 5,000 metres after 50 years. He is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (as both an athlete and a administrator and the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was awarded the Canadian Olympic Order. In 2006, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Commonwealth Sports Awards Foundation. In 2004, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.