Participant-Centered sport development: A case study using the leisure constraints of women in regional communities

Kyle Rich, Matthew Nicholson, Erica Randle, Alex Donaldson, Paul O’Halloran, Kiera Staley, Pam Kappelides, Rayoni Nelson, Regina Belski

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Women in rural and regional communities experience social, cultural, and geographical constraints to sport, physical activity, and leisure participation. This study uses leisure constraints theory to explore the development and delivery of a casual, recreational physical activity program, stand up paddleboarding, for women in regional Victoria, Australia. We used semi-structured interviews with regional programmers (n = 2), volunteer organizers (n = 3), a program instructor (n = 1), and program participants (n = 14) to identify the leisure constraints, how they were negotiated, and how they were used in the program development process. In this study, we explore a collaborative approach to crafting a program that ensured the prescriptive, proscriptive, and descriptive constraints experienced by the women productively informed the development and delivery of a sustainable participation opportunity. We conclude that a participant-focused rather than an activity-focused approach to program development and delivery may be more effective in producing sustainable participation opportunities, particularly for underserved communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Leisure constraints
  • participation
  • rural and regional communities
  • sport and leisure development
  • women

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