Through the lens of the theory of reasoned action and the framework of attraction, retention, transition, and nurturing of athletes, this study examined how athletes’ experiences at the Commonwealth Youth Games contributed to satisfaction with the event, while encouraging transition into higher levels of competition. A total of 244 athletes from 23 different countries who completed a survey helped identify the environment-related aspects that created positive and negative experiences. The participants noted that learning from various social and cultural experiences influenced their event satisfaction and their future intention to remain in high-performance sport. Aspects of the event service environment, including poor accommodation and nutrition, were found to negatively impact performance. This paper contributes to the role of pre-elite events as athletic development agents that aid in talent transition. The results have implications for event organizers and high-performance managers regarding the influence of athletes’ experiences on performances and intention to transition.
Eric W. MacIntosh and Popi Sotiriadou
Eric MacIntosh, Keita Kinoshita, and Popi Sotiriadou
Competing at major sport events represents a significant experience for elite athletes. Research has determined that event services can affect athlete satisfaction, yet little is known about any influence on athlete performances. This study adapted the lens of transformative service research to examine, through survey research, the athletes’ perceptions of the impact that the service environment of the Commonwealth Games 2018 on the Gold Coast in Australia had on their satisfaction and subsequent performance. The results from 430 athlete surveys showed the significant relationships between service environment factors and athlete satisfaction and the indirect effects of the service environment on performance, through satisfaction. Thus, satisfaction acts as a mediator between the service environment and athlete performance. The effects of the service environment on athlete satisfaction and performance highlight the areas for future development across the athletes’ experience, from accommodations to social activities, that managers and event planners can enhance.
Jasper Truyens, Veerle De Bosscher, and Popi Sotiriadou
Research on elite sport policy tends to focus on the policy factors that can influence success. Even though policies drive the management of organizational resources, the organizational capacity of countries in specific sports to allocate resources remains unclear. This paper identifies and evaluates the organizational capacity of five sport systems in athletics (Belgium [separated into Flanders and Wallonia], Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands). Organizational capacity was evaluated using the organizational resources and first-order capabilities framework (Truyens, De Bosscher, Heyndels, & Westerbeek, 2014). Composite indicators and a configuration analysis were used to collect and analyze data from a questionnaire and documents. The participating sport systems demonstrate diverse resource configurations, especially in relation to program centralization, athlete development, and funding prioritization. The findings have implications for high performance managers’ and policy makers’ approach to strategic management and planning for organizational resources in elite sport.
Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, Hiroaki Funahashi, and Popi Sotiriadou
Many Nations are increasingly investing public money in elite sport on the belief that this will trigger a range of benefits for the population. However, there is lack of insight into how the population perceives elite sport’s impact on society. This study developed and tested a measurement scale assessing the publics’ beliefs of the positive and negative societal impacts that could potentially flow from elite sport. A sample of the Belgian population (N = 1,102) was surveyed. A 32-item scale was built using principal component and confirmatory factor analysis procedures for which the goodness-of-fit indices were excellent. Multivariate analysis revealed that the Belgian population perceived elite sport to have mostly positive societal impacts. The study findings can serve researchers wanting to measure the perceived potential positive and negative societal impacts of elite sport.
Popi Sotiriadou, Jessie Brouwers, Veerle De Bosscher, and Graham Cuskelly
Previous studies acknowledge the importance of sporting organizations’ developing partnerships with clubs for athlete development purposes. However, there are no studies that address the way partnerships influence athlete progression and pathways. This study explores interorganizational relationships (IORs) between a tennis federation and tennis clubs in their efforts to improve player development processes. Document analysis and semistructured interviews with representatives from clubs and the Flemish federation were used. The findings show that the federation and the clubs engaged in IORs to achieve reciprocity and efficiency. The federation anticipated gaining legitimacy and asymmetry, and clubs expected to develop stability. Formal and informal control mechanisms facilitated IOR management. The conceptual model discussed in this study shows the types of IOR motives, management, and control mechanisms that drive and influence the attraction, retention/ transition, and nurturing processes of athlete development.