An Exploration of Safe Space: From a Youth Bicycle Program to the Road

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 The University of British Columbia
  • | 2 York University
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Safe space—a physical and psychosocial space cultivated through social relations—can be vital for youth programs and community development. This paper analyzes youth participants’ experiences in a Canadian bicycle program. The authors suggest that the program can be seen as a form of “Sport for Development,” and specifically what the authors term “Bicycles for Development”—as the bicycle is considered as a possible catalyst for development. Using interviews and photos, the role of “safe space” in the growing body of Bicycles for Development literature is highlighted, and the authors make a connection between Sport for Development scholarship and literature related to youth cultural activities and spaces. The findings reveal the benefits associated with program engagement and challenges despite program-related benefits.

Steinmann and Wilson are with the School of Kinesiology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. McSweeney, Bandoles, and Hayhurst are with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Steinmann (jeanette.steinmann@ubc.ca) is corresponding author.
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