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Developing a theoretical model to compare national para-sport policies – para-SPLISS.

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

RESEARCH BACKGROUND/AIMS The growth and profile of the Paralympic Games over the past 20 years has been phenomenal. This has been accompanied by a growing number of countries entering the ‘global sporting arms race’ for international Paralympic success, which is driving an increased desire to strategically invest in systems policy for optimising Paralympic athletes’ development and success. However, many athletes continue to face various environmental and organisational barriers inhibiting their opportunities to reach elite level performance. Examining national policies that could efficiently support elite development pathways for athletes with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities can play an important role in addressing this issue. The aims of this project are therefore to: 1/ identify key national policy elements influencing international Paralympic success, and 2/ develop, validate and empirically test a national para-sport policy framework. LITERATURE/THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Elite sport systems development has interested a number of sport management and policy researchers over the past 10 years. These studies have helped us understanding the trends and strategies characterising nations’ interventions towards international sporting success. However the focus has been almost exclusively on Olympic success and elite ‘abled-bodied’ sport. Sport management and policy literature on elite para-sport development is scarce (Misener and Darcy, 2014). To address this gap, the researchers have identified the SPLISS (Sport Policy Factors leading to International Sporting Success) model (De Bosscher et al., 2008) as a relevant theoretical framework to start with, mainly due to its analytic focus on factors situated at the policy level. In recognising the very complex and fragmented organisation of para-sport at the national level (Thomas and Guett, 2013) and the numerous barriers that continue to affect the opportunities for athletes with disabilities to develop at the elite level (Misener and Darcy, 2014), the intention of this project is not to simply apply the SPLISS model to the Paralympic context but rather to use the sound framework it offers as point of reference. RESEARCH APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY The research will be conducted in four phases, following an explorative and mainly qualitative design. Drawing from the SPLISS studies, the involvement of the main stakeholders of the Paralympic movement (eg. performance managers, coaches and athletes with disabilities) will be a key methodological approach. The first phase will explore key policy factors of successful Paralympic sport systems, through literature review and interviews with key stakeholders (current phase). In phase two, a theoretical framework of elite para-sport policy pillars and critical success factors will emerge from focus group consultations with expert researchers. In phase three, the theoretical model will be validated following an iterative process through surveys involving all stakeholders of the Paralympic movement (Delphi method). The intention is to then empirically test the model in the Australian context. An advisory committee composed of a range of representatives from the disability sport and research community will be consulted throughout the research project in order to: promote inclusion in the research process, ensure that perspectives of all groups are represented and avoid any risks of reinforcing ableist views. IMPLICATIONS Firstly, the findings will improve our theoretical understanding of sport policies as they relate to elite para-sport systems development. Secondly, the validated policy framework will set the groundwork in preparation for a multi-country comparative study on the efficacy of national Paralympic sport systems. The outcomes of this research have direct practical implications for para-sport decision makers, managers, coaches and athletes with disabilities. Overall, the intentions of this project are also to develop interest in researchers from the ‘mainstream’ sport management area to examine the different sectors that compose the para-sport business, as well as benefit the main stakeholders of the Paralympic movement, namely the Paralympians, by contributing to the development of opportunities to pursue a career at the elite level. REFERENCES De Bosscher, V., Bingham, J., & Shibli, S. (2008). The Global Sporting Arms Race: An International Comparative Study on Sports Policy Factors Leading to International Sporting Success: Meyer & Meyer. Misener, L., & Darcy, S. (2014). Managing disability sport: From athletes with disabilities to inclusive organisational perspectives. Sport Management Review, 17(1), 1-7. Thomas, N., & Guett, M. (2013). Fragmented, complex and cumbersome: a study of disability sport policy and provision in Europe. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 6(3), 389-406.
Boek: The world congress on elite sport policy 2015. Book of abstracts of the second SPLISS conference
Pagina's: 82-82
Aantal pagina's: 1
Trefwoorden:Para-SPLISS, elite sport policy, impact assessement