This study examined para swimmers’ athlete development experiences from the perspectives and reflections of athletes, and parents of athletes, with a focus on the constraints and challenges experienced. Guided by interpretive phenomenological analysis, 12 participants engaged in the interview process (seven parents and five athletes). Five themes were identified: fundamental skill development, personal connection, coaching, classification, and connecting with others “like me.” Through a discussion of the differences in development experiences between the participants in this study and the current literature on athlete development, the authors highlight areas of concern in applying a non-para-specific athlete development model to para swimmers. This study identifies several areas of consideration in the future design of a para athlete development framework or model.
Darda Sales and Laura Misener
Marijke Taks and Laura Misener
In this case, a local sport tourism officer has been asked to prepare a recommendation for Evex City Council regarding which types of events the city should bid for, based on their public policy agenda of enhancing tourism for economic development purposes and stimulating sport participation for residents. A questionnaire, a codebook, and a data set from two events, an international figure skating event and a provincial gymnastics event, are provided to assist in making a decision. The data set includes the spectators’ identification with and motives for attending the events, tourism activities in which they participated, and some sociodemographic variables. Analyses of the data and interpretation of the results should assist the sport tourism officer in providing accurate recommendations to policymakers. Theories and frameworks that underpin this case include public policy schemas; identity, motives, and tourism behavior of event attendees; sport participation outcomes from sport events; leveraging; and event portfolios.
Laura Misener and Nico Schulenkorf
With an increasing emphasis on the social value of sport and events, there has been a shift in focus regarding the management and development process of event projects as well as their associated outcomes. This shift is about emphasizing a more strategic approach to developing social benefits by recognizing and utilizing leverageable resources related to sport events as a means of fostering lasting social and economic change (Chalip, 2006; O’Brien & Chalip, 2007; Schulenkorf & Edwards, 2012). In this paper, we adapt and apply the asset-based community development (ABCD) approach as a means of developing a more action-oriented, community-based approach to leveraging the social assets of sporting events. In applying the ABCD approach, we aim to shift the focus of event-led projects away from attempts to “solve” social problems (i.e., deficit perspective) to enhancing the existing strengths of communities (i.e., strengths perspective). We reflect on case study findings that highlight the challenges and opportunities in realizing an ABCD approach for disadvantaged communities through an examination of a healthy lifestyle community event initiative in the Pacific Islands.
Shushu Chen and Laura Misener
Interest in how local communities can positively benefit from the hosting of large-scale events has grown exponentially. Where most research has focused on the host city, nonhost regions have the potential to benefit greatly, yet little research has examined how these communities can achieve these benefits. This study examined the leverage process in a nonhost area for the London 2012 Olympics to consider the opportunities and challenges of such a task. Theoretically informed by the event leverage model, this case study used document analysis and semistructured interviews with 10 key stakeholders involved in the leveraging process. Findings reveal that effective event leverage in a nonhost area requires the establishment of early leadership and strategic alliances and highlights a significant role the specific leveraging team played. Partners found it difficult to continue with committing to event leverage due to conflicts of interests and goal misalignment. Theoretical contributions are also discussed.
Richelle Clark and Laura Misener
This study investigates the underdeveloped area of event portfolios in an attempt to fill a gap in the existing literature. This research article examines strategic positioning of events and the critical role they play in local development. To understand this, a case study design was performed in a medium-sized city in Canada. The purpose of the study was to determine how the city has used sport events for broader local development and enhancement of the civic brand. Interviews with local city actors and document analyses were used to further understand the strategies within the community. The results show that although a city may possess the necessary portfolio components as per Ziakas & Costa (2011), it is essential that there is a strategy that bridges the pieces of the portfolio for sustainable development. Consequently, we found that sequencing, or the strategic timing of events and political grounds, played a crucial role in this process.
Nancy Quinn and Laura Misener
Medical discourse regarding impairment and (dis)ability dominate assumptions of Paralympic sport. This research examined the lived experience of the first author, a sport physiotherapist and veteran of many Paralympic Games, to consider the experience of sport medicine with Para sport athletes. Self-ethnography and a theoretical lens informed by a human rights approach to disability were used. Structural violence was utilized to explore the social structure of medical professions and the impact on Paralympic sport. Data involved a retrospective journal of the first author. Thematic analysis was conducted and these themes are presented; social potential of sport medicine, medical authority, aversive ableism. The research draws attention to structural violence in Paralympic sport and the potential of sport medicine to be an agent of change.