Using the RE-AIM framework to evaluate the impact of a sport for development program serving marginalized youth


Sport for development (SFD) interventions can act as a catalyst for positive youth development. This case study used the RE-AIM framework to evaluate the individual and community level impact of Ahead of the Game (AOTG), a 12-week school-based program that empowers marginalized youth through sport and mentorship in the Peel District School Board (PDSB) (Ontario, Canada). Each of the five RE-AIM dimensions were assessed using surveys and school administrative records. Overall, 1,551 Peel district students (85% male; age 14-19) have participated in AOTG (Reach). Participants attended an average of 87% of sessions. Main reasons for participation included: the supportive environment (30%), the opportunity to build positive relationships (25%), mentorship (23%), and learning life skills (22%). Participants reported increased conflict resolution (89%) and anger management skills (90%) (Efficacy). 19/42 schools within PDSB have run AOTG, 8 of which are the highest priority schools in the Board. Two AOTG facilitators have collaborated with at least one school staff at each site. (Adoption). The majority (79%) of sites have implemented the AOTG program curriculum in its entirety, with 16% also administering AOTG's evaluation component (Implementation). School records show a decrease in participants' negative incidents with teachers and school administration at one-month follow-up. 14/19 schools have repeated the program the following school year (Maintenance). AOTG is an effective mentorship-based SFD program that demonstrates the potential for building positive relationships, increasing life skills, and decreasing juvenile delinquency. Application of the RE-AIM framework to this program provides a blueprint for its translation to other SFD programs.