Motivations, Barriers, and the Need to Engage with Community Leaders: Challenges of Establishing a Sport for Development Project in Baucau, East Timor

By Matthew Pink and Melainie Cameron.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 11, 2013 $US5.00

The Future in Youth (FIY) soccer project is a sport for development (SFD) program in Baucau, Timor-Leste. Few employment opportunities exist in Baucau, and many of the youth are members of martial arts gangs, contributing to conflict among communities. The aims of FIY are to: a) engage the youth in positive sporting activity and b) enhance the capacities of participating coaches. FIY runs for one month annually, with a view to becoming more frequent as the coaches’ capacities are developed. In this study, we investigated the motivations of local Timorese coaches to participate in FIY. Five male coaches, aged 19-27 years, who contributed to FIY in both 2010 and 2011, participated in a semi-structured focus group. Several coaches also attended additional interviews to generate data. The central theme arising from the coaches’ data was that they were primarily motivated to coach to benefit the children from their bairos (sub-villages). Although the coaches reported enhanced coaching competence, many barriers restricted these coaches from seeking opportunities to engage their teams in competitive football, including limited transport, finance, parental permission, and fear of violence. Consistent with contemporary SFD literature, we recommended that FIY engage with community leaders to find locally driven solutions to these difficulties.

Keywords: Sport for Development, East Timor, Motivation, Soccer, Culture

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.15-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 11, 2013 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 445.853KB)).

Matthew Pink

PhD Student and Associate Lecturer, School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Matthew Pink is an associate lecturer and PhD student at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane. His research interests include sport for development and the welfare of elite athletes. Previously, Matthew has worked in the fitness industry, the Australian Football League, and as a team member of the Future in Youth soccer project, Baucau, East Timor.

Dr Melainie Cameron

Associate Professor, School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Melainie (Lainie) Cameron is an osteopath and an accredited exercise physiologist. Lainie is passionate about good quality research, and intrigued by the complexities and challenges that arise when research meets clinical work. Most of her research and clinical practice is in rheumatology (arthritis care).