Lifestyle sport, public policy and youth engagement: examining the emergence of parkour


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Gilchrist, Paul and Wheaton, Belinda (2011) Lifestyle sport, public policy and youth engagement: examining the emergence of parkour International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 3 (1). pp. 109-131. ISSN 1940-6940

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In this article we consider the development of parkour in the South of England and its use in public policy debates and initiatives around youth, physical activity and risk. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews with participants and those involved in the development of parkour in education, sport policy and community-based partnerships, we explore the potential of parkour to engage communities, particularly those traditionally excluded from mainstream sport and physical education provision. We discuss how the perceived success of parkour in these different contexts is related to the culture and ethos of the activity that is more inclusive, anticompetitive and less rule-bound than most traditional sports, and to its ability to provide managed risk-taking. More broadly, the article highlights the emergence of lifestyle sports as tools for policymakers and the potential role these nontraditional, non-institutionalized lifestyle sports can make in terms of encouraging youth engagement, physical health and well-being. Our article therefore contributes to ongoing debates about the (in)ability of traditional sports to meet government targets for sport and physical activity participation.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lifestyle sport; parkour; youth policy; risk; youth; subculture
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L400 Social Policy
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/19406940.2010.547866
Faculties: Faculty of Education and Sport > Chelsea School
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 09:19
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2015 15:33

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