Maximising enjoyment to sustain girls’ sport participation: a unique case study of Netball in Australia

Catherine Litchfield, Sam Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sports participation is associated with many physical and psychosocial benefits yet a large proportion of children, especially girls, are not participating in or dropping out of sport. Netball is a popular sporting choice for girls; however, it has experienced a decrease in girls’ participation according to census data in Australia. This study aimed to explore how Netball clubs and organisations utilise enjoyment to attract and retain girls’ participation. The FUN Integration Theory was used as a theoretical framework to guide the development of a semi-structured question route for qualitative interviews. The key findings indicate that clubs and organisations appreciated the importance of enjoyment, parental support and quality coaching, however, their current practices did not consistently reflect this understanding. Clubs and organisations were found to operationalise all four tenets of the FUN Integration Theory, though some areas could be further optimised to enhance girls’ sport enjoyment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Dropout
  • FUN Integration Theory
  • retention
  • young females
  • youth sport

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