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Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports

Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports Young people have been identified as a key target group for whom participation in sport and physical activity could have important benefits to health and well-being and consequently have been the focus of several government policies to increase participation in the UK. Lifestyle sports represent one such strategy for encouraging and sustaining new engagements in sport and physical activity in youth groups, however, there is at present a lack of understanding of the use of these activities within policy contexts. This paper presents findings from a government initiative which sought to increase participation in sport for young people through provision of facilities for mountain biking in a forest in south-east England. Findings from qualitative research with 40 young people who participated in mountain biking at the case study location highlight the importance of non-traditional sports as a means to experience the natural environments through forms of consumption which are healthy, active and appeal to their identities. In addition, however, the paper raises questions over the accessibility of schemes for some individuals and social groups, and the ability to incorporate sports which are inherently participant-led into state-managed schemes. Lifestyle sports such as mountain biking involve distinct forms of participation which present a challenge for policy-makers who seek to create and maintain sustainable communities of youth participants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leisure Studies Taylor & Francis

Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports

Leisure Studies , Volume 34 (3): 21 – May 4, 2015
21 pages

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References (95)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1466-4496
eISSN
0261-4367
DOI
10.1080/02614367.2014.893005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Young people have been identified as a key target group for whom participation in sport and physical activity could have important benefits to health and well-being and consequently have been the focus of several government policies to increase participation in the UK. Lifestyle sports represent one such strategy for encouraging and sustaining new engagements in sport and physical activity in youth groups, however, there is at present a lack of understanding of the use of these activities within policy contexts. This paper presents findings from a government initiative which sought to increase participation in sport for young people through provision of facilities for mountain biking in a forest in south-east England. Findings from qualitative research with 40 young people who participated in mountain biking at the case study location highlight the importance of non-traditional sports as a means to experience the natural environments through forms of consumption which are healthy, active and appeal to their identities. In addition, however, the paper raises questions over the accessibility of schemes for some individuals and social groups, and the ability to incorporate sports which are inherently participant-led into state-managed schemes. Lifestyle sports such as mountain biking involve distinct forms of participation which present a challenge for policy-makers who seek to create and maintain sustainable communities of youth participants.

Journal

Leisure StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: May 4, 2015

Keywords: lifestyle sports; youth; policy; countryside; physical activity; 生活体育; 年轻人; 政策; 乡村; 身体活动

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