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“It’s Recovery United for Me”: Promises and Pitfalls of Football as Part of Mental Health Recovery

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.

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Knowledge Translation Practices, Enablers, and Constraints: Bridging the Research–Practice Divide in Sport Management

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.

Open access

“I Feel We are Inclusive Enough”: Examining Swimming Coaches’ Understandings of Inclusion and Disability

Andrew Hammond, Ruth Jeanes, Dawn Penney, and Deana Leahy

In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Victorian swimming coaches to examine the discourses of disability and inclusion that they expressed in relation to their current coaching practices. Analysis specifically pursued links between neoliberalism, ableism, elitism, classification and inclusion in coaching, with the intention of exploring what discourse relations are possible, imaginable and practical within what have been referred to as neoliberal-ableist times. Findings reveal that coaches replicate and reproduce elitist, ableist assumptions about the body and sport. The discussion prompts a consideration of how rationalities and techniques of inclusion are limited under the prevailing political context.

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Identifying Ageism Within Australian Local Government Physical Activity Policy: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Michael Butson, Ruth Jeanes, and Justen O’Connor

This research aims to identify ageist content concerning older adults within local government physical activity policy. Policies are not passive texts; they can comprise hidden or disputed connotations. To identify ageism, the study utilizes a critical discourse analysis approach to analyze physical activity policy documents (n = 61) from 16 local government areas in Victoria, Australia, and the perceptions of local government employees trusted with developing these policies, which were gathered during semistructured interviews (n = 11). Results from the critical discourse analysis indicate that local government policies are imbued with ageism, leading to the construction and perpetuation of various stereotypes of older adults. The discourse analysis points to potentially ageist descriptions including older adults being vulnerable, incapable, and a financial burden. Nonetheless, older adults were also revealed to be significant contributors to the community including in paid employment, caregiving roles, and volunteering.