Taskforces, commissions of inquiry, and advisory committees are significant institutional features in the development of government sport policy. This study analyzes New Zealand’s Ministerial Taskforce on Sport, Fitness, and Leisure (2001) and uses empirical data gathered from observations of consultations, interviews with committee members, and available documents. It is argued that procedural, organizational, and political considerations significantly shaped and constrained the Taskforce’s findings and recommendations. Two fundamental contradictions are discussed. The first concerns the expectations for these bodies to develop both innovative and pragmatic recommendations in light of their ad hoc nature, their broad mandates, and short time lines. The second contradiction speaks to the paradoxical nature of taskforces in developing sport policy, noting in particular their dual roles as both advocates for the sport sector and investigators responsible for addressing problems and issues.
This study addresses the role and policies of Libera Sport, an Italian nongovernmental civil society organization that fights against the Italian mafia groups through sports. On the one hand, this article reinterprets and applies the cultural hegemony theory of Antonio Gramsci both to the Mafia and Libera Sport. On the other hand, habitus and cultural capital notions of Pierre Bourdieu are used to express the struggle between the Mafia and Libera Sport. This study demonstrates how the Mafia and anti-Mafia movement intersect in the “accumulation of actions” and create the “clash of habitus”. I argue that Libera Sport can realize its goals only if the clash of habitus is terminated by demolishing the institutionalized cultural capital of the Mafia and constituting its own cultural capital, which has not yet been institutionalized. During this reformative process, sports become a significant complementary anti-Mafia policy tool.
Douglas J. Casa, Yuri Hosokawa, Luke N. Belval, William M. Adams and Rebecca L. Stearns
Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is among the leading causes of sudden death during sport and physical activity. However, previous research has shown that EHS is 100% survivable when rapidly recognized and appropriate treatment is provided. Establishing policies to address issues related to the prevention and treatment of EHS, including heat acclimatization, environment-based activity modification, body temperature assessment using rectal thermometry, and immediate, onsite treatment using cold-water immersion attenuates the risk of EHS mortality and morbidity. This article provides an overview of the current evidence regarding EHS prevention and management. The transfer of scientific knowledge to clinical practice has shown great success for saving EHS patients. Further efforts are needed to implement evidence-based policies to not only mitigate EHS fatality but also to reduce the overall incidence of EHS.
Michael P. Sam
National taskforces and inquiries are used extensively by governments wishing to review their involvement in sport. Underpinning these reviews are dominant ideas like “national unity” or “excellence.” Ideas matter in public policy because they form the basis for framing political judgments and because their meanings are continually translated into future plans and actions (Hoppe, 1993). This study investigates the role of ideas in shaping and circumscribing the findings and recommendations emanating from a national taskforce in New Zealand. Information was gathered through interviews with Taskforce members, observations of public consultations, and analysis of submitted documents. Key ideas included notions of efficiency, competitiveness, and leadership. These ideas are discussed, focusing in particular on their contradictory/paradoxical nature and their role in (re)producing power relations. The paper concludes with future research questions and a call for more critical investigations into sport policy-making.
Ineke Vergeer and John M. Hogg
This study aimed to examine the effects of four situational factors on coaches’ decisions about an injured athlete’s participation in competition. A telephone survey was conducted among 64 coaches training female gymnasts of various competitive levels. Coaches were presented with hypothetical scenarios depicting situations in which an athlete suffered an ankle injury prior to competition. Injury severity, the gymnast’s age and ability level, and importance of the competition were systematically varied in a total of 16 scenarios. Using a multilinear polynomial model (Louvière. 1988), decision policies were calculated at the individual and aggregate levels. The aggregate level analysis showed a four-way interaction effect. Cluster analysis on individual policies revealed two groups, membership of which was associated with personal injury history. Results suggest that in their decision making, coaches are sensitive to the unique situational characteristics surrounding the injury and are influenced by their personal experiences with competing while injured.
This article analyzes government and quasigovernmental agencies’ use of “planning dictates” in relationships with national sporting organizations (NSOs) in Canada and national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport in the United Kingdom (UK). Attention is drawn to the asymmetries of power contouring elite sport policy developments in both countries that, though unobservable in an empirical sense, nonetheless warrant investigation. The analysis draws on semistructured, in-depth interviews with key personnel in three Canadian NSOs and three UK NGBs in swimming, athletics, and sailing; senior officials at Sport Canada and UK Sport; and sport-policy analysts and academics. Although Canadian NSOs have been subject to such planning dictates for the past 20 to 30 years, the requirement for UK NGBs to comply in this way have only emerged since the mid-1990s. Accordingly, the article concludes with suggestions for further research in the UK.
Anna E. Mathews, Delores Pluto, Olga Ogoussan and Jorge Banda
When promoting active travel to school, it is important to consider school and district policies as well as attitudes of school and district administrators.
School principals and district officials in South Carolina participated in the School Travel Survey. Frequency distributions and Chi-squared tests were used to analyze the data.
Three hundred fourteen persons responded to the survey (53.2% response rate). Sixty-five percent of district officials reported having a clear position about students walking to school, 80.0% of which were supportive. Seventy-two percent of principals reported having a clear position about walking to school, 67% of which were supportive. These positions were most commonly communicated either orally or through memos or other written documentation rather than through official, written policies or directives. Respondents who personally supported walking to school were more likely to believe that walking to school benefited students' health (χ2 = 8.82, df = 1, P = .003) and academic performance (χ2 = 14.87, df = 1, P < .0001).
Promotion of walking to school should encourage schools and districts to develop official, written directives or policies. Promotional efforts may benefit from linking active travel to academic performance and health.
The findings of a 4-year research project that examined the potential for greater integration of sport and tourism policy in the UK are reported. The study is based on in-depth interviews and consultations with various agencies and identifies a number of tensions that exist within the sport-tourism policy process. An analysis of such tensions is used to review the five influences on sport-tourism policy proposed by Weed and Bull (1998). Six influences are now suggested: ideology, definitions, regional contexts, government policy, organizational culture and structure, and individuals. Using these revised influences, an assessment is made of the potential for a sustainable sport-tourism policy network in the UK. It is argued that such a network is not sustainable at the national level but may be possible at the regional level. The author suggests a need to empirically validate the international relevance of the concepts discussed utilizing Weed's (2001) model.
This paper assesses the development of the welfare state as an important factor in state intervention in sport. In the first section, a set of theoretical assumptions for the analysis of the welfare state is developed. The second section presents a typology of tools of state intervention in sport inspired by welfare statism. In the last section an analysis of the Canadian case is presented. The paper indicates the broad impact of the welfare state on sport policies as well as demonstrating the need for more empirical studies.
Kathy J. Spangler and Linda L. Caldwell
A collaborative framework that influences the promotion of policy related to physical activity should include parks and recreation as well as public health practitioners and researchers. As governments at all levels become increasingly focused on the impact of public resources, park and recreation agencies are challenged to document and demonstrate the impact of leisure services. Public policy associated with parks and recreation is driven by public interest and is often debated in the absence of relevant research to demonstrate the determinants and correlates of parks and recreation to address prevailing social conditions. This paper describes current policy and funding issues faced by public parks and recreation professionals responding to increasing physically active leisure across the lifespan of Americans. We also discuss how a collaborative framework approach can be used to inform public policy designed to increase the physical activity of the American public.