Sport for social change in the city
Brackebusch, Velina Boteva
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There is a dearth of research in the area of sport for social change and spirituality. The purpose of this study was to understand (a) the main barriers low income African American parents face to sport participation, (b) how a nonprofit religious organization enhanced the life of its participants, their families and the engaged volunteers and (c) how the organization was able to foster social capital exchange and building of a community among its members. The theoretical framework consisted of critical social science theory, social capital theory, and social learning theory. Data collection involved in-depth ethnographic methods and the study lasted a year. Methods included observations, interviews, and document analysis and thematic analysis was employed to find emerging themes. Participants in the study were children taking part of sport programing the organization offered, their parents, volunteers, coaches, and staff of the organization. The findings of the study are as follows: the organization was able to build a community through a family atmosphere, close relationships, turning barriers like transportation into opportunities to build relationships with children, provided child care to each other, some of the coaches acted as parents, and they also gave back to the community through various initiatives.