This article elaborates on the significance of the ‘family factor’ in facilitating sport for development (SfD) opportunities by presenting findings related to a research project with an SfD project based in Delhi, India, which seeks to empower adolescent girls through sport. The findings add to the limited understanding of the role of the family in SfD opportunities; the paucity of studies which examine SfD initiatives in India and more recent studies of sport and physical culture in India. The girls of this study emerged from families who were largely supportive of the sporting opportunities and the empowerment promised through their SfD involvement. However, these families expressed concerns about issues of violence against girls and women in Delhi which impacted girls’ opportunities to enact empowerment in public spaces and to access non-traditional gender roles. Furthermore, an additional understanding of the family emerged wherein the extended family of origin served as a foil to the empowered girls within this study. The findings offer more nuanced understanding of the effects of the family for SfD programming that seeks to empower girls.