A Critical Analysis of Local Sports Clubs and their Ability to Provide Participation Opportunities for Young People (11-16 year olds): A Case Study of Two Clubs
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As young people’s attitudes, patterns of participation and leisure lifestyles are changing towards a more diverse physical activity spectrum involving a wider range of sports, it is important that sports clubs adapt their offering and provision to this age group to engage more youths in club sport. Young people and school sport is an important priority target for sport policy in Wales (Sport Wales, 2011a). The purpose of this study was to explore how school club links might be developed as a means of increasing participation amongst young people aged 11-16. In order to address this issue a case study approach was adopted and two contrasting clubs were examined. The first was an athletic club which is traditionally run, and in contrast, the second club was a judo club that had no fixed club base and is run on a commercial basis. The contrasting nature of the clubs were considered a strength, and was used to explore the differences clubs experience when creating school club links. A qualitative approach was adopted as the research was exploratory in nature. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted, consisting of two participants from each of the clubs, and four sport development professionals ranging from operational to strategic roles. By conducting a comparative analysis two key emergent themes were discussed and evaluated. The first theme were the structural issues in creating school club links and the second theme considered the key features of a successful school club link. The research also revealed that there were a number of similarities in the way in which the two clubs and the sport development professionals organised school club links. Finally opportunities regarding how this system for sport development might be enhanced and further improved were considered.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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