Recent research has examined how sports events and sport-for-development projects can create, sustain, and maximize positive social impacts for local communities. This article takes this debate forward by arguing that the cultivation of safe space is a key ingredient of sport-for-development management and community event leverage. Safe space is conceptualized as a multidimensional process that involves physical, psychological/affective, sociocultural, political, and experimental dimensions. Drawing on empirical findings from Sri Lanka, Israel, and Brazil, the article shows how these dimensions of safe space operate and interact in practice, and identifies practical strategies that sport managers, policymakers, and practitioners can use to cultivate safe spaces in and through sports projects and events.
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Ramon Spaaij and Nico Schulenkorf
Jonathan Magee, Ramón Spaaij, and Ruth Jeanes
This paper builds on the concept of mental health recovery to critically examine three football projects in the United Kingdom and their effects on the recovery process. Drawing on qualitative research on the lived experiences of mental health clients and service providers across the three projects, we explore the role of football in relation to three components of recovery: engagement, stigma, and social isolation. The findings indicate how the projects facilitated increased client engagement, peer supports, and the transformation of self-stigma. The perception of football as an alternative setting away from the clinical environment was an important factor in this regard. Yet, the results also reveal major limitations, including the narrow, individualistic conceptualization of both recovery and stigma within the projects, the reliance on a biomedical model of mental illness, and the potentially adverse consequences of using football in mental health interventions.
Jon Welty Peachey, Nico Schulenkorf, and Ramon Spaaij
Hebe Schaillée, Ramón Spaaij, Ruth Jeanes, and Marc Theeboom
Funding bodies seek to promote scientific research that has a social or economic impact beyond academia, including in sport management. Knowledge translation in sport management remains largely implicit and is yet to be fully understood. This study examines how knowledge translation in sport management can be conceptualized and fostered. The authors draw on a comparative analysis of coproduced research projects in Belgium and Australia to identify the strategic, cognitive, and logistic translation practices that researchers adopt, as well as enablers and constraints that affect knowledge translation. The findings show ways in which knowledge translation may be facilitated and supported, such as codesign, boundary spanning, adaptation of research products, and linkage and exchange activities. The findings reveal individual, organizational, and external constraints that need to be recognized and, where possible, managed.
Annelies Knoppers, Fiona McLachlan, Ramón Spaaij, and Froukje Smits
A great deal of research focusing on organizational diversity has explored dynamics that exclude women and minorities from positions of leadership in sport organizations. The relatively little change in diversity in these positions suggests a need to employ ways of engaging in diversity research that do not center on identity categories and primarily focus on practices. Drawing on notions of subtexts and on queer theory, this critical narrative review aims to make visible and to question organizational practices and processes that may contribute to the diversity “problem” within sport organizations. A subtextual analysis of 32 articles published in leading sport management journals reveals how dynamics of organizational culture, such as an uncritical use of the concept of diversity, the invisibility of practices sustaining gender binaries and heteronormativity, and the intersection of heteronormativity and White normativity, contribute to sustaining the status quo in sport organizations. The authors build on these findings to challenge scholars to further explore and address these practices and processes in sport organizations and in their own research by employing queered intersectional approaches.