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Open access

Wendy O’Brien, Tracy Taylor, Clare Hanlon, and Kristine Toohey

Professional team male-dominated sports have been built on masculine values; however, these values are challenged by the increasing number of women athletes entering this workplace. In this research, we explore the suitability and gender appropriateness of existing management processes and practices through three women’s professional and semiprofessional leagues. Drawing on a feminist perspective of continuum of care, players (n = 36) and organizational representatives (n = 28) were interviewed to gain insights into how athletes and organizations contend with their rapidly evolving workplaces. Framed around the values of affirmation, empowerment, and belonging, the continuum of care contrasts players’ everyday experiences of care with how organizations administer care. The research contributes through application of the feminist continuum of care. We present considerations for the management of female professional athletes in ways that are careful and an alternative value system that is affirmative, inclusive, and empowering.

Open access

Zsófia Pálya, Bálint Petró, and Rita M. Kiss

Background: Balancing performance can be affected by regular and high-level athletic training, which has not been fully explored in synchronized ice skaters. This study aimed to analyze the dynamic balancing performance by assessing the principal and compensatory movements performed during the sudden provocation tests and evaluating the parameters that characterize the platform’s motion. Method: Twelve young female synchronized ice skaters and 12 female age-matched controls participated. Sudden provocation tests were completed three times in bipedal stance and in single-leg stances, and sport-specific fatigue session was inserted between the repetitions. Results: Significantly more time was necessary to recover balance for both groups after the fatiguing sessions (p < .05). Interestingly, skaters performed less effectively in the simplest condition (bipedal stance) than the control group (p < .05). The principal component analysis showed that the first principal movement was the same for both groups. The skater group used the upper body and arms more often to compensate, while the control group’s recovery strategy consisted mainly of abduction of the elevated leg. The damping ratio and the relative variance of the first principal movement showed a negative correlation (p < .05), suggesting that those with superior balancing effectiveness recruited more compensatory movements.

Open access

Maarten A. Immink

Open access

Kwok Ng, Sean Healy, Wesley O’Brien, Lauren Rodriguez, Marie Murphy, and Angela Carlin

For the first time, data on children and adolescents with disabilities in Ireland are reported based on the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Para Report Card methodology. The most recent data from the last 10 years were used in the grading process (A+ to F), and indicators with insufficient data were graded as incomplete. Of the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix Para Report Cards, grades were assigned to Overall Physical Activity (F), Organized Sport (D), Active Transport (D−), Sedentary Behaviors (D−), Family & Peers (C), School (C−), Community & Environment (B−), and Government (B). Irish disability sport organizations were invited to assess the research-led audit and provided commentary around the final grading. The contextual discussion of the grades is presented through the lens of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with the purpose being to provide direction for the reduction of physical activity disparities among children with disabilities.

Open access

Janelle Joseph, Bahar Tajrobehkar, Gabriela Estrada, and Zeana Hamdonah

Background: This scoping literature review examines: What literature exists about the sport and physical activity experiences of racialized cis and trans women, adolescents, and girls in Canada? Methods: English language peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and gray literature published January 1, 2000, up to May 31, 2020, were examined. The databases used were SPORTDiscus via EBSCO, Sociological Abstracts, Sport Medicine and Education Index, and Google Scholar. The 42 studies and 15 gray literatures found included 1430 participants explicitly specified as racialized women/girl participants. Results: There was a paucity of literature on the topic overall with none (n = 0) focused on experiences of racialized trans women. The limited research notes some successful programs that address racialized women’s needs. However, the research also shows widespread experiences of discrimination against women based on racial group and language and limited access to culturally relevant or welcoming sporting opportunities, such as women-only programs and spaces. Conclusions: Much more research should be done to disaggregate “immigrants” into specific racial and ethnic groups, attend to intersectional identities and barriers, understand a wide range of involvement (eg, including coaching, high performance sport, recreation, exercise, university sport, mentorship programs), document racism and White privilege, and describe the joys of participation in sport for racialized women.

Open access

Pierre Samozino, Jean Romain Rivière, Pedro Jimenez-Reyes, Matt R. Cross, and Jean-Benoît Morin

When poor reliability of “output” variables is reported, it can be difficult to discern whether blame lies with the measurement (ie, the inputs) or the overarching concept. This commentary addresses this issue, using the force-velocity-power (FvP) profile in jumping to illustrate the interplay between concept, method, and measurement reliability. While FvP testing has risen in popularity and accessibility, some studies have challenged the reliability and subsequent utility of the concept itself without clearly considering the potential for imprecise procedures to impact reliability measures. To this end, simulations based on virtual athletes confirmed that push-off distance and jump-height variability should be <4% to 5% to guarantee well-fitted force–velocity relationships and acceptable typical error (<10%) in FvP outputs, which was in line with previous experimental findings. Thus, while arguably acceptable in isolation, the 5% to 10% variability in push-off distance or jump height reported in the critiquing studies suggests that their methods were not reliable enough (lack of familiarization, inaccurate procedures, or submaximal efforts) to infer underpinning force-production capacities. Instead of challenging only the concept of FvP relationship testing, an alternative conclusion should have considered the context in which the results were observed: If procedures’ and/or tasks’ execution is too variable, FvP outputs will be unreliable. As for some other neuromuscular or physiological testing, the FvP relationship, which magnifies measurement errors, is unreliable when the input measurements or testing procedures are inaccurate independently from the method or concept used. Field “simple” methods require the same methodological rigor as “lab” methods to obtain reliable output data.

Open access

Matthew Springham, Robert U. Newton, Anthony J. Strudwick, and Mark Waldron

Biomarkers relating to player “stress balance,” immunological (ie, immunoglobulin-A), and hormonal (ie, testosterone and cortisol [T:C]) status are now commonly used in football. This article is our critical review of the scientific literature relating to the response of these measures to player load and their relationships with player health. The commonly reported relationship between immunoglobulin-A and training or match load highlights its sensitivity to changes in psychophysiological stress and the increased risk of compromised mucosal immunity. This is supported by its close relationship with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection and its association with perceived fatigue in football players. Testosterone and cortisol concentrations and the testosterone–cortisol ratio are sensitive to changes in player load, but the direction of their response is often inconsistent and is likely influenced by player training status and non-sport-related stressors. Some evidence indicates that sustained periods of high training volume can increase resting testosterone and that sustained periods of low and high training intensity can increase resting cortisol, compromising the testosterone–cortisol ratio. These findings are noteworthy, as recent findings indicate interrelationships between testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone:cortisol and perceived measures of fatigue, sleep quality, and muscle soreness in football players. Variability in individual responses suggests the need for a multivariate and individualized approach to player monitoring. Overall, we consider that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of salivary immunoglobulin-A, testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone:cortisol measures as part of a multivariate, individualized player monitoring system in professional football.

Open access

Kadia Saint-Onge, Paquito Bernard, Célia Kingsbury, and Janie Houle

Few studies have focused on older public housing tenants’ perceptions of physical activity. Greater understanding of how they define, appreciate, and engage in physical activity could lead to better targeted promotion and reduced health inequalities for this subgroup of the population. We conducted 26 walk-along interviews with older public housing tenants in Montreal (Canada). Tenants were aged 60–93 years and lived in either one of three study sites including a commercial, a residential, and a mixed land-use area. Physical activity was described as a multidimensional construct through six interdependent dimensions: physiological, emotional, interpersonal, occupational, intellectual, and existential. Participants perceived physical activity as having potential for both well-being and ill-being. Perceptions of physical activity were a function of age, physical capacity, gender, culture, revenue, and relation to community. These results support using a life-course perspective and a broader definition in promoting physical activity to older public housing tenants.