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Creating optimally safe and enjoyable youth sporting experiences within the United Kingdom

Maita Furusa, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo, Tom Love Orcid Logo

Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume: 73, Start page: 102652

Swansea University Authors: Maita Furusa, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo, Tom Love Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Considering recent research and reports, much attention has been given to understanding and addressing issues of abuse in sport. Similarly, attention has been given to enhancing children’s psychosocial experiences within sport. However, to-date, consideration of these two elements together, that is...

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Published in: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
ISSN: 1469-0292
Published: Elsevier BV 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66120
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Abstract: Considering recent research and reports, much attention has been given to understanding and addressing issues of abuse in sport. Similarly, attention has been given to enhancing children’s psychosocial experiences within sport. However, to-date, consideration of these two elements together, that is minimising abuse and enhancing enjoyment, has been minimal. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to explore perceptions of the process through which an optimally safe and enjoyable sporting experience can be created for young people. A Straussian grounded theory methodology was used to develop a substantive theory detailing the process through which an optimally safe and enjoyable sporting experience is created for young people in sport. Interviews were conducted with 19 young people, six parents, nine coaches, and five individuals in safeguarding roles. The interviews were analysed through open and axial coding, followed by theoretical integration. The resultant theory highlighted that establishing positive relationships between all young people and key individuals in a physically and developmentally safe environment was a fundamental requirement for fostering an optimally safe and enjoyable sporting experience. Achieving this required consideration of factors both in the immediate and broad sporting context. Specifically, support from sports organizations, access to continuing professional development opportunities, and a network of safeguarding experts are required in the broader environment. While within the immediate sporting environment, visibly displayed and appropriately implemented safeguarding policies and procedures; open, honest, and respectful interactions; shared goals and expectations between parents, coaches, and young people, and; trusting and supportive friendships with shared experiences are required.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: ESRC Wales Doctoral Training
Start Page: 102652