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Organising for "new" demands: the organization of spontaneous sports
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2014 (English)In: Book of Abstracts: 19th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Sciences, 2014, -168 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction Commonly voiced critique against organised club sport concerns the shutting out of underprivileged groups and the sortingout of less talented participants. In response, governments and sport organisations launch interventions to develop sport to meet newpreferences and demands. In Sweden, the Swedish Sports Confederation has launched “Drive-in-sport” in an effort to engage with someof the assumed mechanisms behind skewed social recruitment and early drop-outs. In the study this paper reports on, one Drive-in-sportproject was investigated with an ambition to provide an answer to the over-arching question: What happens when spontaneous sportactivities are organised, and why? Methods The project under study was launched within the latest government sport policy programmein Sweden with the aim of recruiting non-members from underrepresented groups. In the project, local sports clubs organise spontaneoussport activities where children and youth previously not involved in club sports can take part under the device “come as you are, dowhat you please, at no cost”. Aiming at an understanding of the organisation of spontaneous sport and its implications for clubs andparticipants, the results of this case study is based on an analysis of project documentation, qualitative interviews with activity leaders,structured observations of the activities and questionnaires to participants in one Drive-in-sport project. Results Results show how organisation,marketing, financing, leader’s competence, facilities, participants’ wishes, and the nature of the activities combine into activitiesvery similar to club sport activities. More specifically, they show how already club affiliated participants and activity leaders doubling ascoaches in regular club sport activities define the content and nature of the activities, making participation difficult and unattractive forbeginners and less experienced participants. They also show how the organising principles in club sport are emulated in project activitiesin terms of rewarding continuity in attendance, which lend more ambitious participants the interpretative prerogative over what Drive-insportshould be. Discussion These results can be understood by drawing on the theoretical concepts of embedded expectations andembodied knowledge. Since few beginners can match their embodied knowledge with the expectations embedded in the activitiesdefined by club affiliated participants and leaders, the intended group of participants shrinks. The increasing majority of participants withembodied club sport experiences, on the other hand, become increasingly likely to enjoy the activities which they are given mandate todefine, which in turn increases the likelihood of their continued participation. These two processes together work in homogenising theparticipant group and by that narrowing the scope of the activities further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. -168 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93415ISBN: 978-94-622-8477-7OAI: diva2:748554
19th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, 2-5 July 2014, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Available from: 2014-09-19 Created: 2014-09-19 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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