Undergraduate enrollments in kinesiology have grown over the past 20 years as the popularity of this major increased among students interested in the health professions. A panel discussion at the 2018 American Kinesiology Association workshop provided an overview of challenges facing kinesiology departments. Department leaders at four public universities discussed enrollment trends, faculty resources for teaching undergraduates, and budget models used at their universities. Comparisons were made with kinesiology departments at Big Ten universities to reflect more broadly on what is happening at U.S. public research institutions. At several universities, undergraduate kinesiology enrollments grew between 2008 and 2017, but at others, they leveled off or declined. In many cases, faculty resources have not kept pace with enrollments, leading to unhealthy student-to-faculty ratios. The panel discussed methods of coping with scarce resources for teaching undergraduates and how department leaders can use comparison data to stress the importance of adequate resources.
David R. Bassett, Jeffrey T. Fairbrother, Lynn B. Panton, Philip E. Martin and Ann M. Swartz
James A. Carson, John K. Petrella, Vanessa Yingling, Mallory R. Marshall, Jenny O and Jennifer J. Sherwood
Undergraduate research is emphasized as a critical component of today’s science-based undergraduate education and widely accepted as an important part of the overall undergraduate education experience. While educators agree on the value of undergraduate research, significant challenges exist related to the design of the undergraduate research experience and the faculty member’s role in it. Additional challenges include providing high-quality research experiences that benefit the education of a large number of students while maintaining feasibility and cost-effectiveness. The scope of this review is to provide an overview of research and service-learning experiences in kinesiology departments at 3 institutions of higher learning that vary in size and mission.
Gwendolyn M. Weatherford, Betty A. Block and Fredrick L. Wagner
The experiences of women in sport continue to necessitate deliberation, reflection, new ways of thinking, and further discourse in the continued pursuit of opportunity and equality. The subsequent and parallel impact on the roles that women play in sport as athletes and leaders are revealed by identifying the complexities and social realities that are vying and contending for relevance. The notion of complexity offers a novel conceptualization revealing contexts and competing points of view that challenge progress and equality for women in sport. Complexity refers to the state of the world assailed by increased amounts of data, facts, tasks, evidence, and arguments that yield uncertainty in the current age and unpredictability for the future. Universal challenges characteristic of complexity include globalization; digital technology; interpenetration of the wider society; participation, access, and equal opportunity; marketization; competition; and quality assurance and assessment. As a result, these old and new realities raise questions related to what we know about the current state of sport, sport experiences of women, and the properties of sport that seem difficult to manage. The purpose of this paper is to offer complexity as a theoretical lens by which to examine sport, discuss the universal and formidable challenges that face sport, and, more specifically, discuss the impact they have on women in sport.
Orlagh Farmer, Donna Duffy, Kevin Cahill, Diarmuid Lester, Sarahjane Belton and Wesley O’Brien
The purpose of the current research was to gather baseline data on female youth to inform the development of a targeted physical activity (PA) and sports-based intervention, specifically identified as “Gaelic4Girls”. Cross-sectional data on PA levels, psychological correlates of PA, anthropometric characteristics, and the fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency of female youth (n = 331; M age 10.92±1.22) were collected. A subsample (n = 37) participated in focus group (FG) interviews exploring perceptions of health/sport, and identifying barriers/motivators to participation. PA levels were assessed using self-report (PA Questionnaire for Older Children) and classified as low, moderate, and high active. One- and two-way ANOVAs (post hoc Tukey honest significant difference [HSD]) were used to analyze the data. The FGs were transcribed verbatim, coded, and thematically analyzed. Findings indicated that the majority of youth (71.8%) were not meeting the minimum daily PA recommendations for health, and that 98.1% did not achieve the FMS proficiency expected for their age. Low, moderately, and highly active participants differ significantly in terms of overall FMS (p = .03), and locomotor control scores (p = .03). FG findings report fun and friendship as key PA motivators, too much competitiveness as barriers, and positive outside encouragement from family/friends/coaches as facilitators encouraging PA engagement. Findings highlight the need for targeting low levels of PA, FMS proﬁciency in female youth sport interventions, through addressing self-efﬁcacy levels, inclusive of fun, and socially-stimulating PA environments.
Alexander J. Bedard, Kevin A. Bigelman, Lynn R. Fielitz, Jeffrey D. Coelho, William B. Kobbe, Renard O. Barone, Nicholas H. Gist and John E. Palmer
Collegiate combative physical education classes, such as boxing, grappling, wrestling, and martial arts, offer many positive benefits to students and institutions. There has been an increased interest in combative sports in recent years. As a result of media focus on high-profile female athletes in combative sports, combative physical education classes have become increasingly popular with women. Physical education programs stand to greatly benefit from gender integration of combative classes. Educators and administrators, however, need to consider a number of social, psychological, physiological, and medical factors in order to ensure successful gender integration. Approaching gender integration with a careful and deliberate process that involves physical educators, administrators, and medical personnel will ensure programs maintain an authentic yet safe environment contributing to the attainment of course objectives. When executed in a prudent and deliberate manner, gender integration of combative course offerings has been anecdotally observed to improve women’s self-confidence, sense of inclusion, teamwork, and to enhance cohesion among students of both genders.
Mallory Mann and Vikki Krane
While recent studies paint an optimistic picture of acceptance and inclusion of queer athletes, it would be naive to assume homonegativism no longer exists. In this study, we interviewed 13 queer female athletes to understand their college team sport climates and how heteronormativity is reinforced and confronted in women’s college sport. Using a feminist cultural studies approach, two types of team climates emerged from the data: inclusive climates and transitioning climates. On inclusive teams, queer and heterosexual members overtly communicated their norm of inclusion to new teammates, normalized diverse sexualities, and consistently engaged in inclusive behaviors. Transitioning teams were described as neither inclusive nor hostile initially, and, while they did not have a history of inclusion, they transitioned to becoming more outwardly accepting of diverse sexual identities. On transitioning teams, queer athletes surveyed the landscape before sharing their sexual orientation, after which the team evolved to become inclusive. All the athletes talked about awkward moments, occasional incidents of nonsupport, and the benefits of inclusion. These findings reveal emerging cracks in hegemonic heteronormativity in women’s sport, especially among athletes.
Buffie Longmire-Avital, Takudzwa Madzima and Elyse Bierut
Previous research has documented the comprehensive health benefits of regular physical activity. However, just over a third of Black women report meeting the suggested amount of physical activity per week. Research also indicates that collegiate emerging adults often reduce their physical activity as well. Given that Black collegiate women represent the intersection of two groups that report a reduction in physical activity, the primary purpose of this descriptive study was to examine whether or not the rate of engagement in high-calorie-burning (HCB) activity by collegiate females differed by race. A secondary purpose was to explore how the chronic stress of racism for Black women was related to their HCB activity. Three hundred and eighty-three collegiate females between the ages of 18 and 25 (M = 19.67, SD = 1.45) participated; (61.1% [n = 234] self-identified as White, while the remaining 38.9% [n = 149] self-identified as Black). All eligible participants took a 10–15 min anonymous online survey. Results from a chi-squared analysis (χ2  = 8.40, p = .004) revealed that White collegiate women (70.3%) were more likely to report participation in weekly HCB activity than Black collegiate women (55.7%). Additional analyses also suggested that chronic experience with racism (F [1, 147] = 5.13, p = .03) was associated with more frequent HCB activity for the Black women sampled. Campus health promotion campaigns should not overlook how the experience of race may shape health behaviors for their racial minority students and sustain emerging health disparities.
Christina A. Geithner, Claire E. Molenaar, Tommy Henriksson, Anncristine Fjellman-Wiklund and Kajsa Gilenstam
Research on relative age effects (RAEs) in women’s ice hockey is lacking data on participant characteristics, particularly body size and maturity status. The purposes of our study were to investigate RAEs in women’s ice hockey players from two countries, and to determine whether RAE patterns could be explained by chronological age, body size, and maturity status. Participants were 54 Swedish elite and 63 Canadian university players. Birthdates were coded by quartiles (Q1–Q4). Weight and height were obtained, and body mass index and chronological age were calculated for each player. Players recalled age at menarche, and maturity status was classified as early, average, or late relative to population-specific means. Chi-square (χ2), odds ratios (OR), 95% confidence intervals (CI) and effect sizes (Cohen’s w) were calculated using population data across quartiles and for pairwise comparisons between quartiles. Descriptive statistics and MANOVAs were run by quartile and by country. Significant RAEs were found for Canadian players across quartiles (p < .05), along with a Q2 phenomenon (Q2: Q3, Q2: Q4, p < .05). Swedish players were overrepresented in Q3 (Q3: Q4, p < .05). Q4 was significantly underrepresented in both countries (p < .05). The oldest, earliest maturing, and shortest players in both countries were clustered in Q2, whereas the next oldest and latest maturing Swedish players were found in Q3. Age, physical factors, and interactions may contribute to overrepresentations in Q2 and Q3. These findings do not suggest the same bias for greater relative age and maturity found in male ice hockey.
According to USA Archery, the National Governing Body for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of archery, since December of 2011, the number of archery clubs has nearly doubled and individual membership is up 25%. Owners of archery ranges across the United States are experiencing long waiting lists of adolescents who are interested in learning the sport, and many owners contribute this surge in popularity to The Hunger Games (2008–2010) franchise, a dystopian series featuring Katniss Everdeen, a bow and arrow wielding teenage girl who becomes a reluctant revolutionary instrumental in destroying a totalitarian government. The link between the series and the recent surge in archery is explored here. In this feminist, qualitative study, nine girls (n = 9) between the ages of 11 and 14 were interviewed about their experience participating in at least one 6-week after-school archery program. The results of this study suggest that The Hunger Games series influenced the girls, both directly and indirectly, to participate in the archery program. Additionally, this study found that archery is a sport where both active and less active girls feel they can compete with boys on a level playing field. Lastly, the participants did not report experiencing sexism or bullying as a result of their archery participation. The author provides applications and recommendations for further research.
Daniel Maderer, Petros Parganas and Christos Anagnostopoulos
Social-media platforms have become an important tool for sport marketers to communicate their brand image and engage with fans. This study analyzed 1,115 Facebook posts and 16,308 tweets from 10 of the most valuable European professional football clubs to identify the range of brand associations communicated and the level of online fan engagement. Statistical analysis captured correlations between and among selected brand attributes, time periods of posts (in and off-season), and levels of fan engagement. On both Facebook and Twitter, football clubs posted more frequently during the season, while content associated with product-related attributes was the focus of such communication. Product-related content was found to generate higher levels of online fan engagement. The study extends the literature on sport teams’ brand management through social media and offers practical recommendations on how to enhance fan identification and engagement and ultimately make financial and reputational gains.