Lifestyle And Adventure Sports Among Youth

Authored by: Paul Gilchrist , Belinda Wheaton

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932


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An important characteristic and intensifying trend in the twenty-first century within Western sporting cultures is an increase in the range and diversity of sports practices, particularly more informal and individualistic activities. A vibrant example of this trend is the emergence and growth of what the academic and popular literature has variously termed extreme, alternative, adventure and lifestyle sports. In this chapter, we consider the growing popularity and significance of these sports, illustrating their impact on the contemporary sporting landscape. We use the term lifestyle sports as an umbrella term to refer to a range of participatory, informal and stoke 1 -seeking urban and rural sporting activities, including long-established sports like climbing and surfing through to emergent activities such as snowboarding and parkour. Many of these sports either originated (or, for example surfing, were re-popularised) in North America around the 1960s. With their origins in the counter-cultural social movement of the 1960s and 1970s, many had characteristics that are different to traditional rule-bound, competitive and institutionalised sport. They have been characterised by their challenge to the dominant Western ‘achievement sport’ culture and values (Eichberg, 1998).

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