Sports, poverty and the role of the voluntary sector : exploring and explaining nonprofit sports clubs' efforts to facillitate participation of socially disadvantaged people

H. Vandermeerschen, J. Meganck, J. Seghers, S.B. Vos, J. Scheerder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Despite several decades of Sport for All policies, opportunities for sports participation are still unequally divided, with certain socially disadvantaged groups having less access to sports. To reduce this gap, structural efforts are needed. A question that arises is what role nonprofit sports clubs can fulfill in this matter. In this study, first, it is explored how nonprofit sports clubs perceive their role and responsibility towards socially disadvantaged groups and how they act on it. Second, it is investigated which factors predict the presence or absence of efforts from nonprofit sports clubs for lowering barriers. For this second question, we focus on people living in poverty. Data are based on a survey among 580 nonprofit sports clubs throughout Flanders (Belgium). The findings indicate that the human resources capacity of the club is not the main barrier. It is argued that local sports authorities and sports federations have an important part to play in supporting and encouraging sports clubs in terms of social inclusionary policies, for example by instilling awareness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-334
    Number of pages28
    JournalVoluntas : International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
    Volume28
    Issue number1
    Early online date2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

    Keywords

    • Nonprofit sports clubs
    • People in poverty
    • Social inclusion
    • Sports participation
    • Sports policy

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