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Developing recreation programs for disadvantaged sectors of the community

conference contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Tower, Cadeyrn GaskinCadeyrn Gaskin, T Morris, Michael Spittle
Physical activity participation can provide benefits for both the health and well-being of the community. Many people, however, are not active enough to achieve these health and well-being outcomes. The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation’s (VicHealth) 2001 Active Recreation Scheme funded 27 projects designed to provide recreation programs to address the active recreation needs of disadvantaged groups who are often the least physically active members of Victorian communities. This research aimed to identify themes and strategies of these projects that increased participation or reduced barriers to participation in active recreation. Site visit interviews were conducted with representatives of 11 projects to become familiar with successful program strategies and barriers to recreation program development. Following the site visits a focus group discussion with representatives from all 27 funded projects was conducted to explore ways in which barriers to recreation participation could be minimized and what strategies were effective in increasing recreation participation. Nine general dimensions that were identified as strategic approaches to increase the participation of disadvantaged groups in recreation programs were relationships, resources, community values/attitudes, communication (promotion and education), participant awareness/motivation, autonomy supportive, planning, program design, and mentors/role models. It was found that a focus on a community coalitions and complementary policy developments had positive effects on creating active communities. Four themes that guided the community and policy developments were i) community partnerships, ii) community support, iii) focus on the participants and iv) program design elements. The study also showed that the management and manipulation of these themes assisted agencies to develop programs that increased recreation participation.



Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies. Conference (6th : 2003 : Sydney, N.S.W.)




Sydney, N.S.W.

Place of publication

Sydney, N.S.W.

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Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Title of proceedings

ANZALS 2003 : Leisure, change, diversity : Biennial Conference

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