Community Sport Clubs Perceptions on High Performance Sport Pathways

Martin, Daniel David James
Johnston, Melody
Naylor, Michael
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Master of Sport, Exercise and Health
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Auckland University of Technology

Understanding the influence and contribution of community sport clubs to High performance sport pathways gives opportunity to improve the pathways effectiveness and facilitation. This research investigates the perceptions of community sport clubs in relation to HP sport pathways. It seeks to gain a greater understanding of the early stages of elite athlete development, from the perspective of the community sport sector.

The research followed a mixed methods approach to achieve the research aim of investigating the sport club perceptions of prioritisation, facilitation, and accessibility of high performance (HP) pathways. Data for this study was collected via inclusion of scaled and open ended questions into the National Sport Club Survey (NSCS).

Many club representatives are of the opinion that there is still a divide between the higher-level organisations and their clubs. The responses, and previous research surrounding this topic, highlights the importance of good communication and collaboration between all levels of the sport organisational structure to promote optimal provision of HP sport pathways. Additionally, findings from this study suggest that the presence of qualified coaches within community sports clubs is important to support access to HP sport pathways, by increasing inter-level communication.

This research adds value to the sports industry through understanding the sentiments of the community sport club role in the implementation of HP pathways across all levels of sport. Their voice gives valuable insight that can inform decision making related to HP sport pathways. Furthermore, this study will be useful in providing a platform for further research in this area to extend benefit to all levels of sport in New Zealand.

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