AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE FACTORS AFFECTING PARTICIPATION RATES IN WOMENS FOOTBALL AMONGST 16-19 YEAR OLDS IN ENGLAND.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Despite women's football being the fastest growing female sport in England the participation rates within the sport are substantially lower than those in other sports (Sport England, 2012), in particular those aged 16-19. The purpose of this study was to identify what factors affect the participation rates in women's football aged 16-19. The information and data gathered was collated through the eyes of current female football players. The participants involved within the study were those studying at a sixth form college and the first year of university, representing their university and/or college academy team. The study adopted a qualitative approach with data collated through semi structured interviews. The data gathered was analysed and results were presented in a data matrix and discussed. A review of the literature revealed seven dominant themes in which were factors that affected women's sport in general. The seven themes which structured the interviews were: Enjoyment; Time; Funding; Competition; Competence; Gender, sexuality, stereotyping and masculinity and Social. Findings echoed previous research but provided information which specifically related to women's football. Findings revealed how enjoyment was the key motivator for ongoing participation in women's football and how issues of gender, sexuality, stereotyping and masculinity had a negative impact on participation. The information gathered from this study can help develop policies and strategies within women’s football in order to address the current issues and further encourage the motivators to sustain participation.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT DEVELOPMENT
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