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“It’s borderline hypocrisy”: Recruitment practices in youth sport – based interventions

“It’s borderline hypocrisy”: Recruitment practices in youth sport – based interventions

Publication type

Journal Articles


Journal of Sport for Development



This paper takes a critical look at how marginalised youth are recruited for sport-based intervention programmes.

Sport is often promoted as a vehicle through which a variety of social policy outcomes can be achieved. One of the most common outcomes is the enhancement of social inclusion opportunities for marginalised youth populations. While a growing number of studies have examined the potential of sport-based interventions to address broader social concerns, few have focused on the recruitment activities used within such programmes to engage youth populations. Drawing on interview data collected within two sport-based interventions delivered in London (UK), which both aimed to engage marginalised young people through sport, this article intends to examine three main issues: first, to explore the practices undertaken by the two organisations to recruit and retain participants in their sport-based interventions, and second, to examine the implications of these practices on participant recruitment strategies. Third, the article contends that within a context shaped by a neoliberal agenda, the necessity to meet predetermined participation targets encourages organisations to use the most efficient means possible to maximise numbers of programme participants. However, such recruitment strategies often overlook young people whose social exclusion is more complex or acute, and who, arguably, are in greater need of intervention support.



Haydn Morgan, Ioannis Costas Batlle


Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:53