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Managing sport for social change: The state of play

•Sport can build social capacity and develop healthy communities.•Critically engages with sport management theory with sport for social change.•Discusses associated practical and policy implications for sport for social change.•Future research: local engagement, innovative methods and broader scope. Sport-for-development (SFD) provides a platform for sport to be used as a tool or “hook” to contribute to positive outcomes in areas including economic development, social inclusion, cultural cohesion, healthy lifestyles, education, gender equity, as well as reconciliation and peacebuilding. The area of sport for social change (SFSC) represents a sub-field of SFD that uses sport as a catalyst to build social capacity and develop socially and physically healthy communities. The Managing Sport for Social Change special issue of Sport Management Review brings together a collection of conceptual advances, empirical research papers and teaching case studies from a range of social and cultural perspectives, with a focus on managing sport for social change; aimed at engaging critically with sport management theory and praxis, and discussing associated practical and policy implications. Theoretical gaps and recommendations for future research, including: local engagement, innovative research methodology, and a broadening of the scope of research are also discussed.