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Linking participants in school-based sport programs to community clubs
journal contributionposted on 2009-03-01, 00:00 authored by R M Eime, Warren PayneWarren Payne
A decline in youth (12-25 years) participation in sport and physical activity has been reported. School programs that are delivered within schools by external agencies are a key strategy to promote participation in sport and physical activity. It is important that there is a transfer for participants from school-based sport to community opportunities. This study explored the structural links between participation programs conducted in schools and participation in community-based sporting clubs. The study in Victoria, Australia, involved a survey of 49 State Sports Governing Organisations (SSGOs), focus group discussions with 15 representatives from eight of these bodies, in-depth analysis of one school-based sports program that involved the coordinator from the SSGO, three teachers, four parents and one teacher/parent from six participating schools. A majority of SSGOs (59.1%) reported delivering programs within school settings; however they acknowledged that this structure does not represent an efficient or effective way to develop community-level club sports participation and club membership. Facilitators and barriers for transferring participation in school-based sport programs to sustained participation and membership in community club sport are discussed. It is recommended that sports organisations tailor their school-based programs using recognised health promotion planning principles (including community engagement) rather than continuing their current 'one-size-fits-all' approach. This will assist SSGOs and clubs to develop sustainable participation programs and increase club membership. It is recognised that such a change will have significant resource implications due to increased demands on time and human resources. Crown Copyright © 2007.