The Emergence of Multi-Sport Holiday Programmes: How Organised Sport has become a form of Childcare

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Honey, Caitlin (2018) The Emergence of Multi-Sport Holiday Programmes: How Organised Sport has become a form of Childcare. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Multi-Sport Holiday Programmes (MSHPs) are one of the most popular and prevalent styles of holiday programme for Victorian children. To date, no research has explored MSHPs, and the research on holiday programmes within Australia remains vague. Analysis of MSHPs will contribute to the future direction of children’s organised sport, socialisation, and childcare research. This thesis explores the emergence of MSHPs and considers 1) what political and social factors support their emergence, and, 2) What knowledge and practices pervade MSHPs. This thesis begins by exploring the privatisation of the childcare market in Australia, and how the advancement of children’s sport and physical education policy contributed to the emergence of MSHPs. Although the amount of political commentary surrounding how and why children should engage in sport has progressed, the literature review alludes to a lack of research on holiday programmes in Australia. Considering that 25% of children aged 5-9 years engage in formal care during the holiday period, this poses a significant gap. To address this gap, an examination of MSHPs practices and procedures occurred. The findings show that MSHPs are sites of socialisation that reproduce narrow perspectives of health, gender, and the body. These findings are similar to past research conducted in playground environments, physical education, and junior sports programming. MSHPs do not exist in a silo, and future research should consider them as part of broader children’s sport and physical activity research which investigates discourses of meritocracy, masculine hegemony, and healthism. Thus, recommendations arising from this thesis are twofold: 1) Consider the effects of socialisation within MSHPs alongside research undertaken in schools, sports clubs, and the playground. 2) Analyse and provide recommendations on the juxtaposition of children’s sport/physical education policy and the distribution of federal and state funding for elite sport.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords multi-sport holiday programmes; holiday programme; Victoria; children; childcare; Australia; sport; physical education; politics; policy; political; social; neoliberalism
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