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The Volunteer Experience in a Para-Sport Event: An Autoethnography

Erik L. Lachance and Milena M. Parent

, satisfaction, motivation, commitment, and sense of community (e.g.,  Farrell, Johnston, & Twynam, 1998 ; Kerwin, Warner, Walker, & Stevens, 2015 ; MacLean & Hamm, 2007 ). Despite this large body of research, past studies have usually examined constructs individually or in relation with one or two more

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Understanding Sense of Community From the Athlete’s Perspective

Stacy Warner and Marlene A. Dixon

Sport programs are often charged with creating a sense of community (SOC), and it is thought that doing so will benefit participants on and off the field of play. Since SOC is specific to the setting (Hill, 1996) and most research has been conducted outside of sport, the literature has not yet fully demonstrated how and when SOC is created within a sport context. Utilizing a grounded theory and phenomenological approach, this study investigated the mechanisms for creating SOC within a sport setting. Twenty former US college athletes were interviewed regarding their sport experiences. The results revealed that Administrative Consideration, Leadership Opportunities, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Competition, and Social Spaces were the most salient factors that fostered SOC. The results contribute to community building theory, and provide practical solutions for enhancing the participant experience.

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Examining Sense of Community in Sport: Developing the Multidimensional ‘SCS’ Scale

Stacy Warner, Shannon Kerwin, and Matthew Walker

As scholars conduct more research on the social benefits of community sport, the need for an instrument to measure sense of community is increasingly necessary. Utilizing previous grounded theory research specific to sport and community building, the purpose of this study was to test previous sport and sense of community theory through the creation and validation of a measurement scale to gauge sense of community. The authors tested a 21-item tool comprised of 6-subscales (i.e., Administrative Consideration, Common Interest, Competition, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Leadership, and Social Spaces) among samples of young sport participants using the three-phase method of item generation, confirmatory analyses, and concurrent validation. The resulting analyses yielded a valid and reliable instrument to measure sense of community in sport. This research suggests refinement to previous sport and sense of community theory and provides needed utility for this theory that has been grounded in the sport experience.

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It’s Okay to Be a Quad: Wheelchair Rugby Players’ Sense of Community

Donna Goodwin, Keith Johnston, Paul Gustafson, Melanie Elliott, Robin Thurmeier, and Heather Kuttai

This study explored the social experience of wheelchair rugby from the perspective of the players. Eleven national level rugby players (10 males, 1 female with a mean age of 33 years) shared their experiences through the phenomenological methods of semistructured focus group interviews and artifacts. Three themes emerged from the thematic analysis (a) it’s okay to be a quad, (b) don’t tell us we can’t, and (c) the power of wheelchair rugby. The athletes identified with a shared sense of community and the membership, fulfillment of need, influence, and shared emotional connections they used to authentically express themselves through their sport. The implications of the findings were interpreted within the theoretical context of psychological sense of community.

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Chapter 5: Using Social Media: One Physical Education Teacher’s Experience

Collin C. Brooks and Jaimie M. McMullen

resources, acknowledging the expertise and achievements of others, and offering professional and personal advice, have evolved into friendships ( Noble et al., 2016 ). Teachers report valuing the sense of community (SoC) and the learning opportunities they access through Twitter chats that would otherwise

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Bringing Baseball to the Big Screen: Building Sense of Community Outside of the Ballpark

Sheranne Fairley and B. David Tyler

Sport fandom, particularly game attendance, offers an opportunity for social interaction. However, actual attendance at sport events is unrealistic for many individuals. In an attempt to foster a sense of community among such fans, sport marketers have begun to create additional consumption sites by televising live games in central locations, such as in a movie theater. This study examines the motives and experiences of fans who attend a cinema to view live baseball games. Data were collected through participant observation, a survey distributed to event attendees (n = 188), and focus groups. Results suggest that the sense of community and social environment created at the cinema were key factors in the viewing experience. The cinema provided individuals a collective viewing experience with likeminded fans, which helped create a stadium-like environment. This atmosphere, which affords the opportunity to focus on the game (compared with viewing at home or in pubs), allows fans to feel more connected to the team as they believe the cinema offers an authentic environment. Thus, providing sites for fans to view the game with likeminded fans outside of the stadium can be used as a means of creating social ties that could lead to increased fan loyalty. For some individuals, the cinema experience was preferred over that of the ballpark.

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Connecting Through Summer Camp: Youth With Visual Impairments Find a Sense of Community

Donna L. Goodwin, Lauren J. Lieberman, Keith Johnston, and Jennifer Leo

The social meaning of a one-week residential summer sports camp to young people with visual impairments is described. The experiences of 13 youths (7 females and 6 males) with visual impairments (3 B1, 1 B2, and 9 B3) between 9 and 15 years of age were gathered using the phenomenological methods of focus groups, conversational interviews, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: connected, reaching out, and resisting and acquiescing. Experiences of group membership and shared emotional connection to others with visual impairments surfaced in a supportive sport context although resistance to others’ assumptions of ability was evident. The theory of psychological sense of community (McMillan & Chivas, 1986) provided the conceptual framework for interpreting the findings.

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The Strength of Community: The Role of Social Support Networks in Sport Officials’ Retention

Jacob K. Tingle, Brittany L. Jacobs, Matthew Katz, and Stacy Warner

challenges, officials are dropping out in high numbers ( Jacobs et al., 2020 ; Niehoff, 2022 ). Despite concerns about rates of attrition, many officials are retained and have long, sustained careers. Examining current officials’ social support and sense of community through their social networks is a key

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Building Inclusive Communities in Youth Sport for Lesbian-Parented Families

Dawn E. Trussell

, & Leierer, 2015 , p. 46) and may create or enhance a space for shared understanding and relationship building among families. As Warner and Dixon ( 2011 ) argued, “Creating and fostering a sense of community (SOC) within sport is important because of its potential to improve the life quality of those

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The Declining Sense of Community in Canadian Women’s Hockey

Julie Stevens