Back to Netball: Motivations for Participation in a Female-Focused Netball Sport Program

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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Background: Back to Netball (B2N) is a United Kingdom female national sports program that has been found to engage a large number of females in the sport netball. This study sought to understand the participant motives for engaging in this program. Methods: Qualitative methods were used following an initial quantitative survey, which was part of a wider project (outside of this manuscript). Survey participants were comprised of 374 females aged 16–68 years. Participants completed an online survey to capture demographic data. Interviews were conducted with 28 participants either still engaged or no longer engaged in B2N. Analysis involved both inductive and deductive thematic analysis to explore participant perceptions of their coach. Results: Initial motives for engagement were focused on physical health motives and social motives. The coach was also found to be important in providing opportunities for competence development. Therefore, competence development was found to be an important factor for engagement. Participant motivations moved from an extrinsic concern with losing weight to a more intrinsic foci including socializing opportunities and feelings of competence. Conclusions: As a team sport B2N stimulates social engagement, competence, and other motives. Coaching is also a key facilitator for engagement in B2N. This research has implications for future practitioners and policy makers aiming to engage women in sport and physical activity.

Whitehead, Cronin, and Walsh are with the Dept. of Sport, Leisure, and Nutrition, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom. Umeh is with the Dept. of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom. Whittaker is with the Dept. of Psychology, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire, United Kingdom.

Whitehead (A.E.Whitehead@ljmu.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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