The influence of a Healthy Welcoming Environment on participation in club sport by adolescent girls: a longitudinal study

Casey, Meghan ORCID: 0000-0003-0230-6022, Eime, Rochelle ORCID: 0000-0002-8614-2813, Harvey, John ORCID: 0000-0001-6927-6580, Sawyer, Neroli, Craike, Melinda ORCID: 0000-0002-7374-1286, Symons, Caroline and Payne, Warren ORCID: 0000-0001-5046-3992 (2017) The influence of a Healthy Welcoming Environment on participation in club sport by adolescent girls: a longitudinal study. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 9. ISSN 2052-1847


Background: This study investigated the perceived influence of a Healthy Welcoming Environment (HWE) on participation in sports clubs among adolescent girls, and how these perceptions changed longitudinally. HWE was defined in terms of a set of health promotion policies advocated by a health promotion foundation as the basis of sport club health promotion practice to promote structural reform in state sporting organisations and their affiliated associations and clubs. These included sports injury prevention, smoke-free, responsible serving of alcohol, sun protection, healthy eating, and welcoming and inclusive environments. Methods: Year 7 and 11 female students from metropolitan (n = 17) and non-metropolitan secondary schools (n = 14) in Australia were invited to participate in three annual surveys. These surveys collected information about current or past membership of a sports club and the influence of HWEs on their decision to participate (or not) in a sports club. Results: Year 7 (n = 328; 74.5%) and Year 11 (n = 112; 25.5%) female students completed all three waves (19.6% response rate; 82.7 and 74.0% retention rate). Most agreed that characteristics of HWEs were a positive influence on their participation in sports clubs, except those relating to alcohol and Sunsmart. Welcoming factors had consistent high agreement among respondents. Alcohol and friendliness factors of the club were regarded as being positively influential by higher percentages of non-metropolitan than metropolitan respondents. Conclusions: Welcoming factors were the most positive influences on decisions to participate in sports clubs. These factors may be important in reducing barriers to sport participation. Strategies supporting the social environment within sports clubs should be prioritised.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1186/s13102-017-0076-y
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords Health promotion policies; Sporting club; Adolescent
Citations in Scopus 15 - View on Scopus
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