'Yes we are inclusive': Examining provision for young people with disabilities in community sport clubs

Ruth Jeanes, Ramón Spaaij, Jonathan Magee, Karen Farquharson, Sean Gorman, Dean Lusher

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    54 Citations (Scopus)


    The last two decades within Australia have witnessed a range of policies and strategies seeking to promote the inclusion of young people with disabilities within mainstream community sport clubs. Whilst research at an institutional level has highlighted the problems with mainstreaming agendas, few researchers have examined how grassroots clubs, as key components of the supply side of inclusive provision seek to respond to such policy imperatives. In this paper, therefore, the authors provides a critical analysis of the ways in which clubs engage with inclusion policies in practice. Theoretically, the authors draws on the concept of policy enactment and educational inclusivity. Through analysis of semi-structured interviews with club volunteers, the findings illustrate three key areas. Firstly, the importance of individual volunteers in establishing and developing provision within clubs; secondly, the largely separatist nature of disability provision within clubs; and thirdly, that policies tend to encourage clubs to focus on narrow forms of participation that lead to competitive pathways and mirror the structure of mainstream sport. In the conclusion, the authors problematize the notion of inclusion presented in policy and practice, suggesting such imperatives do not encourage a holistic approach.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-50
    Number of pages13
    JournalSport Management Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Community sport
    • Disability
    • Inclusion
    • Policy implementation
    • Sport clubs

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