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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 3 (May 2024)

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Assessing the Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity Among Women in Southeast England

Katherine Paice, Hannah Hersant, Shannah Anico, and Elizabeth Smith

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restricting daily physical activity (PA). Women’s PA levels have been disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic, compared with men. It is important to determine how women’s PA has changed over the pandemic, and if new barriers to PA participation exist since the release of restrictions. Aims: To assess how women in southeast England changed their activity during the pandemic and postpandemic, including how barriers and facilitators to activity have changed. Methods: Three hundred and thirty females completed the first online questionnaire (during lockdown), and 139 completed the postlockdown questionnaire. Questionnaires were designed from the General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire and International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Participants self-reported PA, and barriers and facilitators to exercise. Eighteen females then participated in online semistructured focus groups. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were used for questionnaire data, and focus group transcriptions were thematically analyzed. Results: Most females maintained PA levels throughout the pandemic. Significant barriers to activity were lack of access to equipment/space, limited time to exercise, limited access to social groups, and finances as well as legal restrictions, safety concerns, gender, and lack of childcare. Similarly, significant facilitators were identified during lockdown and postlockdown for access to equipment, finances, having more time to exercise, and exercising with a social group. Participants both expressed desires to return to prelockdown PA habits, but also maintain new ones that were created. Conclusion: It is evident that the pandemic affected and changed the barriers and facilitators to female PA participation. Governments and industries in the sector should focus on providing services that address these changing habits to improve activity levels in women.

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Soccer’s Neoliberal Pitch: The Sport’s Power, Profit, and Discursive Politics

Luke Mashburn

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Strengthening Whole-of-School Physical Activity Models to Promote Physical Literacy: Moving Beyond a Component Approach

Paul Rukavina and Patricia Gremillion-Burdge

Whole-of-school approaches to physical activity and health promotion have the potential to promote physical literacy. However, for a variety of reasons there has not been widespread adoption of component whole-of-school frameworks to guide schools, such as the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. We argue that component frameworks have shortcomings and do not necessarily assist or support schools to take an approach that is consistent with how successful whole-of-school models or programs are created and built over time. In this paper, we argue that we need to apply guidance that resonates with stakeholders and stimulates schools to design their own unique whole-of-school physical activity model to provide equitable programming opportunities. We also present an argument on the need to incorporate improvement science and the use of social–ecological models to investigate the efficacy of this guidance model.

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All the Right Questions: Exploring Racial Stereotypes in Sports Press Conferences

Vincent Peña

Sports press conferences are an area in need of more study and critique, especially regarding how sports journalists ask questions to athletes. This study analyzes the press conferences (N = 44) for four major college football teams during the 2021–2022 season, using textual analysis to explore whether sports journalists’ questions differ based on the race of the athlete and whether those questions reflect racial stereotypes. This study relies on theories of race and representation, including racial formation theory and color-blind racism, and builds upon research on stereotypes in sports. The author found that questions asked to White and Black athletes often reflected stereotypical binaries that emphasized White athletes’ intelligence, leadership, and humanity while highlighting Black athletes’ athleticism, strength, and physical ability.

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Among the Athletes: The Actions of the Securitate in the “Sport Issue” (Romanian Title: Printre sportivi: acţiunile Securităţii în problema “Sport”)

Pompiliu-Nicolae Constantin

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“I Live With and By Nature”: Swedish Alpine Skiers Reflect on Professional and Lifestyle Skiing, Nature, and Snow, 1964–2023

Marie Larneby

Alpine skiing has been a popular activity since the 1950s. However, global warming leads to milder weather, melting glaciers, and reduced snowfall which deteriorates possibilities to skiing. The purpose of this paper is to sketch a contemporary history of alpine skiing and environmental awareness in Sweden through the narratives of ten alpine skiers. A temporal and spatial perspective contributes to make changes over time and meaning of places visible. The skiers share a fixed narrative: nature as central for skiing. This is not unproblematic since nature has been more adapted and modified and resulted in a crowded landscape. Nature is a space to be preserved but also as a space to enable skiing. In this constructed landscape, over time snowmaking is reconstructed to being normal, albeit not natural. A way to handle these changes is to care more for nature, travel less, ski more local, and show environmental awareness.

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Landscapes of Performance: Using Local Geography for the Testing of Sport School Pupils in Sweden, 1972–2023

Daniel Svensson

Does nature still matter in sport? In the balancing between natural and scientific training, Swedish upper-secondary ski schools have played an important role. This paper deals with specific landscape features for testing at three Swedish ski schools: Hallstatestet in Sollefteå, Hovfjällsracet in Torsby, and Stoltjonastestet in Järpen. The following questions will be addressed: How do the coaches at each school use local tests to analyze performance? How is the importance of local tests articulated, and what roles do history and nature play in this process? The paper concludes that the use of local landscapes to articulate elite performance connects ideas of measurability and scientization to the lingering tradition of natural training. Local landscapes thereby become a mediator between scientific and experiential knowledge about sport performance and point out how local sport heritage can be used for addressing environmental issues in sport.

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A Perfect Storm: Black Feminism and Women’s National Basketball Association Black Athlete Activism

Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown, A. Lamont Williams, Amanda N. Schweinbenz, and Ann Pegoraro

This article pays homage to Black Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players and their activist efforts. Such players are often-overlooked activists who are always “holdin it down” while simultaneously keeping activism at the forefront of their agenda. When the 2020 Women’s National Basketball Association season opened, the athletes in this league took the opportunity to highlight social injustice in the United States; not surprising given the history of Black feminism and athlete activism in this league. Using underwater waves as a metaphor, we examine how the intersectionality of Black feminism and Black athlete activism has largely gone unnoticed. Feminism and women’s rights movements have largely been associated with White women while Black activism has been associated with Black men. This manuscript aims to highlight the efforts of Black women and nonbinary athletes whose work has been instrumental in societal progression.

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We Play On: Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fight for Ukraine, Football, and Freedom

Tanya K. Jones, Samuel M. Clevenger, and George Parisis