Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Supportitive environments for young leaders: What Are They and Who Are They for? A Study of Initiatives Taken to Recruit Young Leaders within the Framework of the Sports Initiative Idrottslyftet
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6629-613x
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Supportive Environments for Young Leaders: What Are They and Who Are They for? A Study of Initiatives Taken to Recruit Young Leaders within the Framework of the Sports Initiative Idrottslyftet

 Jane Meckbach and Lena Larsson. The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm 

Background: Sport is a very popular recreational activity for children and young people in Sweden and more than 80 per cent have at some time been a member of a sports club. Without the many leaders, it would be impossible to run an organization of this size. Today, there are just over 600,000 leaders and most of them work on a voluntary basis. Despite many people being involved in leadership roles, the sports movement in Sweden continually wrestles with the issues of a shortage of leaders and how to encourage more people to become involved (Lindroth, 2002; Eriksson, 2006). To support sporting activities for children and young people, the Swedish Parliament decided in 2007 to invest SEK 2 billion over a four-year period. This initiative was given the name Idrottslyftet and one of its goals was to recruit and retain young leaders between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Supportive environments were emphasized as a factor in successfully achieving this goal. Previous studies show that to become a leader in a sport, it is important to have competed competitively and to have parents with a high social status who have themselves held leadership positions in the Swedish sports movement. Gender also appears to be important since there are more young men than young women in leadership roles, and more young men than young women have completed leadership training (Trondman, 2005; Redelius, 2005, 2007).

Research questions and method: The aim of the study is to examine the investment made in young leaders. The specific questions are: i) How have the various projects been structured and what were the desired objectives?, ii) What is meant by the term ‘a supportive environment’?, and iii) Which young leaders is the project aimed at? And who is the ‘right’ kind of leader? The data consists of development plans and project descriptions for the initiatives taken to recruit leaders between 2007 and 2009. Using qualitative text analysis, the texts were subjected to various questions with the aim of contextualizing the actual descriptions. These were then interpreted based on the theoretical frame of reference. 

Framework: The study has a cultural-sociological perspective based on Bourdieu’s theories and concepts for understanding which types of leaders and leadership initiatives are feasible in the social context which constitutes the Swedish sports movement. From such a perspective, studies of the Swedish sports movement cannot be reduced to descriptions of what people do and of organizational structures, but must instead be seen as a cultural and social practice where certain values, norms, and actions are more evident than others. The starting point is that the specific investment in young leaders can be understood based on the perspective that the sports movement is a social arena in which the actors’ collective experience, together with objective structures, determine the resulting initiatives, and in which some initiatives appear to be more evident than others (Bourdieu, 1977, 1990, 1997). In addition, to be able to study how power and inequality are interwoven in the conception of identity categories, such as sex/gender, sexuality, age, class, ability, intersectionality is employed as an analysis tool (Lykke, 2010; Flintoff et al., 2008).

Research findings and conclusions: The analysis shows that investments have consisted mainly of training programmes to recruit new leaders, in which the belief in the sports movement as an educational environment has functioned as the underlying value structure of the content of the training programmes. Usually the training programmes cover different sports and young leaders from various sports and clubs undertake the same training. The training focuses primarily on pedagogical rather than sporting leadership and is dominated by a constructivist approach to learning based on mutual teaching and learning. The supportive environments are a priority, but are viewed primarily as the responsibility of each individual club. The master–pupil relationship appears to be a given model in which older mentors with club experience are trained to be role models and act as sounding boards, introducing the young leader to a club’s existing values and norms. It is a model that could be interpreted as a strategy for preserving the prevailing power structure in a club. Not every young person is approached. Those who are in demand are into sport and are expected to practise sport and be knowledgeable in their discipline. Young leaders and older adult leaders are described as opposites. Former values, such as voluntary work, traditional forms of meeting, and the social life offered by the club, are not thought to attract young people; instead, efforts are concentrated on providing film and entertainment evenings, financial remuneration, and online networking sites, such as Facebook. Young leaders are ascribed various characteristics depending on gender. Female leaders need to improve their confidence and are hesitant about addressing groups of people. Male leaders are interested in sport-specific knowledge, while female leaders want to learn about diet and health. In conclusion, the findings indicate that within the Swedish sports movement there is a belief that a re-examination of the traditionally prominent values is required if young people are to be recruited as leaders.

References

Bourdieu, Pierre (1977), Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

—— (1990), The Logic of Practise (Cambridge: Polity Press).

—— (1997), ‘Hvordan er de muligt at være interesseret i sport?’ [‘How Is It Possible to Be Interested in Sport?’], in Men hvem skabte skaberne? [But Who Created the Creator?] (Copenhagen: Akademisk förlag), pp. 178–198.

Eriksson, Sten (2006), Idrottsrörelsens ideella kraft [The Voluntary Power of the Sports Movement], RF [The National Sports Confederation] and SISU [Swedish Sports Education] brochure series Idrottens ideella ledare [Voluntary Sports Leaders].

Flintoff, Anne et al. (2008), ‘The Challenge of Intersectionality: Researching Difference in Physical Education’, International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 18, no. 2 (June 2008), pp. 73–85.

Lindroth, Jan (2002), ‘Ledarna and ledarfrågan’ [‘The Leaders and the Question of Leadership’], in Ett idrottssekel: Riksidrottsförbundet 1903-2003 [A Century of Sport: The National Sports Confederation, 1903–2003], ed. Jan Lindroth & Johan R. Norberg (Stockholm: Informationsförlaget).

Lykke, Nina (2010), Feminist Studies: A Guide to Intersectional Theory, Methodology and Writing (New York: Routledge).

Trondman, Mats (2005), Unga and föreningsidrotten: en studie om föreningsidrottens plats, betydelse and konsekvenser i ungas liv [Young People and Club Sport: A Study of the Place, Meaning, and Consequences of Club Sport in the Lives of Young People] (Stockholm: Ungdomsstyrelsen).

Redelius, Karin (2005), ‘Idrottskulturer’ [‘Sporting Cultures’], in Leve idrottspedagogiken! En vänbok tillägnad Lars-Magnus Engström [Long Live Sport Pedagogy! A Festschrift in Honour of Lars-Magnus Engström], ed. K. Redelius & H. Larsson (Stockholm: HLS förlag).

—— (2007), Idrottsledarskap – ett lyft för ungdomar [Sports Leadership: Lifting Young People], RF [The National Sports Confederation] and SISU [The Swedish Sports Education] brochure series Idrottens ideella ledare [Voluntary Sports Leaders].

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1710DiVA: diva2:384282
Conference
AARE Australian Assiciation for Research in Education
Available from: 2011-01-08 Created: 2011-01-08 Last updated: 2014-05-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Authority records BETA

Meckbach, JaneLarsson, Lena

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Meckbach, JaneLarsson, Lena
By organisation
Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskulturDepartment of Sport and Health Sciences
Sport and Fitness Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 83 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf