A critical analysis of the impact of the advent of professional rugby union clubs within the Welsh Rugby Union Ospreys Region: together with a review into the reasons wht a sport steeped in amateur principles took the decision to professionalise itself
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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The purpose of the research is to review the reasons for the decision of a sport, notoriously pro amateur, a sport which prided itself on its amateur status to professionalize itself, how the sport coped with the management of change and an assessment of the impact of change on clubs within the Welsh Rugby Union Ospreys Region. The Ospreys Region was created during the summer of 2003 in light of the Welsh Rugby Union's requirement for senior clubs to form five regions to compete in the European and Celtic League competitions. The Ospreys regional boundaries were based on the Unity Authority boundaries of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Following the demise of the Celtic Warriors Region in 2004 the Ospreys Region also encompassed the Bridgend Unity Authority. The literature review underpinned the research by a review of the literature relevant to the topic, methodology and data collection. The review gave the researcher in-depth knowledge of related research of the topic and provided an outline of the relevant theories and concepts. Data was collected using a qualitative methodology approach, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with advocates of amateurism, supporters of professionalism and the organizations directly affected by the change the clubs themselves. The approach chosen allowed a degree of flexibility to develop themes and issues impacting on the clubs within the region. The review of the reasons for the decision of the sport to professionalize indicates that undoubtedly it was the only course open for the sport. The transition to a professional game for the clubs themselves in the region seemed quite smooth and faced little resistance from within. However, there were far reaching consequences, not least the threat or the reality of bankruptcy.
MA Sports Development and Coaching
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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