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Adam Cohen and Calvin Nite

While previous studies in sport management have focused on the positive impacts of experiential learning, few have highlighted the difficulties or negative occurrences in an experiential learning–based course. Thus, the purpose of this study was to critically assess an experiential learning class in an effort to highlight strategies to enhance future classroom efforts. Three overarching themes emerged from the data that were deemed influential to student perceptions of the class: course structure, student investment, and classroom environment. Within each of these themes, the authors highlight the positive and negative experiences of students. Finally, they highlight strategies aimed to increase effectiveness and minimize negative outcomes in an experiential classroom setting.

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Jon Welty Peachey and Adam Cohen

Research partnerships between scholars and sport for development and peace (SDP) organizations are common, but firsthand accounts of the challenges and barriers faced by scholars when forming and sustaining partnerships are rare. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine them, and to uncover strategies to overcome these challenges across different partnership contexts. Eight prominent SDP scholars were interviewed. Guided by collaboration theory and the partnership literature, findings revealed challenges included navigating the political and organizational landscape; securing commitments from organizations with limited resources; negotiating divergent goals, objectives, and understandings; and conducting long-term evaluations and research. Strategies to address these issues involved developing strategic partnerships, cultivating mutual understanding, building trust, starting small, finding the cause champion, and developing a track record of success. Key theoretical and practical implications are drawn forth, as well as intriguing future research directions.

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Adam Cohen, E. Nicole Melton and Jon Welty Peachey

The genuine sport of quidditch, based off the Harry Potter franchise, offers an alternative to traditional sport that has grown immensely in terms of popularity and participation. Due to the scarcity of research on coed sports, and the innovative nature of quidditch, the purpose of this research was to use an exploratory qualitative approach to examine impact of the sport on its participants, and to determine how its structure influenced participants’ attitudes toward the opposite gender. Findings revealed the coed structure of the sport led to a positive coed experience for women and men, which in turn developed an increased desire for inclusivity and equality. In addition, both genders reported stereotype reduction due to participation in the sport, and women also reported feeling increased levels of self-confidence and pride. Despite these shifts in attitude, underlying prejudice toward women athletes was still apparent among men who participated in the sport.

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Jon Welty Peachey, Jennifer Bruening, Alexis Lyras, Adam Cohen and George B. Cunningham

Much sport-for-development (SFD) research has focused on the impact initiatives have on participants, and not on other stakeholders such as volunteers. Some research suggests volunteerism enables social capital gains, while other scholars have been skeptical, with even less known about how volunteers are impacted by working for SFD events rather than for ongoing programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate how, if at all, a large, multinational SFD event contributed to social capital development of volunteers. Findings revealed volunteers experienced social capital development through building relationships, learning, and enhanced motivation to work for social change and reciprocity. As very little research has examined the efficacy of SFD events in contributing to social capital development, the findings extend the literature on SFD events. It would be prudent for SFD events to target programming to impact the experience of volunteers to retain them and contribute to social capital development.

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Jon Welty Peachey, George B. Cunningham, Alexis Lyras, Adam Cohen and Jennifer Bruening

The purpose of this research project was to examine the impact of participating in a sport-for-peace event and one’s social dominance orientation on prejudice and change agent self-efficacy. In Study 1, participants (n = 136) completed questionnaires both before and following their participation in a sport-for-peace event. The event was designed to ensure both high levels of and quality intergroup contact, with interactions confirmed through a manipulation check. Results from the doubly repeated measures analysis of variance indicate a significant decrease in prejudice and a significant increase in change agent self-efficacy. Social dominance orientation did not influence the nature of these changes. In Study 2, the authors conducted focus group interviews with 27 participants to better understand how the event impacted prejudice and change agent self-efficacy. Results indicate that the team-based sport environment and social opportunities were instrumental in prejudice reduction while the educational platform was important for increasing change agent self-efficacy.