The process of co-creating sustainable strategies for girls and women’s basketball participation in Melbourne’s West

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Byrnes, Sophie (2022) The process of co-creating sustainable strategies for girls and women’s basketball participation in Melbourne’s West. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Despite considerable efforts to achieve gender equality in sport in the last thirty years, inequitable outcomes persist. Previous research has identified the barriers girls and women face in accessing sport and how the gendered structure and culture of sport shapes their experiences. In this research project, I aimed to explore and document the process of co-creating and implementing gender equity strategies with community basketball members. I utilised a participatory action framework and worked with three participants over a 9- month period. Throughout this time, I collected and analysed transcriptions and field notes from four collaborative group sessions, six individual meetings, and one in-person group meeting to gain insights into the facilitators and challenges of doing gender equity work in community sport. My analysis of the process revealed the major significant challenge being the tension between gender inclusion efforts (at community level sport) and the dominance of the highperformance model. An emphasis on elite pathways was detrimental in improving the experiences and opportunities for all women and girls at WBA. Based on these findings, recommendations for future research and practice in community sport include the promotion of a sport participation pathway model as opposed to the elite development model community sport is currently organised in. In addition, I stress the importance of having multiple facilitators of change supporting each other and participants when conducting change programs to reduce feelings of isolation and burnout.

Additional Information

Master of Research

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4410 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords gender equality, sport, participatory action framework, community basketball, community sport, Gender Inclusion Program, Wyndham Basketball Association
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