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Examining the impact of austerity on community sport development workers and their professional environment

Mori, Kate and Morgan, Haydn and Parker, Andrew and Mackintosh, Christopher (2021) Examining the impact of austerity on community sport development workers and their professional environment. Journal of Global Sport Management. ISSN 2470-4067

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Abstract

In recent years, austerity measures in the UK have placed increasing emphasis on third sector organisations to address gaps in Central Government provision. Reflecting upon community sport services during this period, this paper presents the findings of a qualitative study of the everyday working practices of a group of community sport development workers (CSDWs) in the South of England, outlining how they adopted innovative and entrepreneurial practices as a response to fiscal constraint. We argue that, amidst an intensification of neoliberalism and new public management, the UK community sport development sector has become increasingly fragmented which, in turn, has presented a series of challenges that militate against the (re)establishment of community-based ideals. The paper concludes that there is potential to apply these findings globally to nations where austerity policies have been the primary response to the financial crisis and/or where a similar approach to community sport development exists.

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