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“It’s Necessary Work”: Stories of Competitive Youth Sport Coaches’ Developing Critical Praxes

Sara Kramers and Martin Camiré

In this study, nine Canadian competitive youth sport coaches’ challenges and successes in creating safer and more inclusive sport spaces were explored through individual pre- and postseason interviews and an in-season reflective portfolio of their coaching experiences. From a story analyst approach, the central narrative theme of “it’s my responsibility to enact change” was identified. A storyteller approach was then used to communicate the meanings of the central theme as accessible creative nonfiction composite stories: When is it okay to intervene?; burning out … it’s consuming me; and breaking through … it’s necessary work. Building on previous research, the findings demonstrate how coaches’ critical praxes shift on a continuum of awareness and advocacy. The creative nonfictions may be used by coach educators and mental performance consultants to help coaches and leaders in sport assess their critical praxes toward challenging social issues in sport and acting in ways that support advocacy and empowerment.

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Designing Quality Sport Environments to Support Newcomer Youth and Their Families: The Case of One Program Founder/Leader

Sara Kramers, Camille Sabourin, Laura Martin, and Martin Camiré

Appropriately structured youth sport programs have been shown to promote participants’ physical activity and well-being. When compared to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, newcomers to Canada have lessened access to sport programs due to a multitude of interrelated factors. In the present case study, the authors explored the experiences of one founder/leader who created a sport program to support Canadian newcomer youth and their families. Two semistructured interviews were conducted with the program founder/leader to examine her experiences in intentionally promoting the physical activity and well-being of newcomer youth. Transcripts and program documents were subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis. Findings portray the complex set of factors that the program founder/leader considered to address the realities and needs of newcomer youth and their families. The practical considerations and reflections focus on the importance of designing culturally sensitive, inclusive, and quality programs with newcomers.

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Making High School Sport Impactful

Stéphanie Turgeon, Kelsey Kendellen, Sara Kramers, Scott Rathwell, and Martin Camiré

The practice of high school sport is, in large part, justified based on the premise that participation exposes student-athletes to an array of situations that, when experienced positively, allow them to learn and refine the life skills necessary to become active, thriving, and contributing members of society. The purpose of this paper is to examine how we can maximize the developmental potential of high school sport and make it impactful. Extant literature suggests that high school sport participation exposes student-athletes to a variety of experiences that can positively and negatively influence their personal development, with coaches playing a particularly influential role in this developmental process. However, within this body of evidence, issues of research quality have been raised, limiting the inferences that can be drawn. Future research directions are presented that address methodological limitations. Furthermore, in efforts to (re)consider the desired impact of high school sport, a critical discussion with policy and practical implications is offered.