SPEY - Sport for Prevention of Extremism in Youth

ICSSPE conducted a systematic literature review aimed at understanding theories surrounding radicalisation among youth and the role sports can have in this particular context.


The research was conducted in conjunction with the ERASMUS+ co-funded SPEY project – ‘Sport for Prevention of Extremism in Youth’. The projects object is to prevent young people between 16 and 25 years at risk of exclusion and/or radicalisation from crime and extremism actions by providing direction and social inclusion in vulnerable situations.


The initial systematic literature review was co-authored by Marilen Neeten and acts as the projects foundation for understanding the current evidence concerning the role of sport in the prevention of extremism and crime. Included literature has been selected from several databases and revealed that sport-based initiatives are a valuable tool to engage at-risk or delinquent youth in alternative settings that provide them with structure, positive identities, life skills and a brighter outlook on their future. The literature revealed the consistent and recurrent concern that the quality and the impact of any intervention highly depends on the funding, on well-designed and theory-based strategies as well as on qualified staff.


The results of this literature review serve as a base for the development of a Handbook of Good Practices, together with the European partners of the project, that should facilitate the integration of young participants with criminal backgrounds.


The literature review is available to download as a PDF here.