It was Martin Stewart-Weekes, who wrote in an influential article in 1997 that "young people were 'playing, not joining', often bypassing traditional sports structures and getting involved in 'fast-food' sports packaged by entrepreneurs". (the article was: Developing and delivering Australian sport in the 21st century: Riding the "third wave")
Now, some 16 years later, the Australian Sports Commission(ASC) have released a research report titled "Market Segmentation for sport participation" that again draws attention, just as Martin Stewart-Weeks did, that sport is increasingly being played in a non-organised environment.
This is need-to-know stuff for all sport administrators.
The research commissioned by the ASC provides some key insights into key issue that may be detrimental to participation in organised sport:
It is a fair chance that most people who have had some experience of sport management will have encountered these issues at some time. Particularly in junior sport, there is often a tension between parents of children who have been streamed into the elite ranks, with parents of children who are considered "also rans". It is likely that many a coach or club committee officer has been subjected to criticism of unfairness when children are graded and separated according to talent, and friends part company even at a very young age.
Send me your views, and you may be published on this page. Is there any concern for traditional organised sport?