In This Chapter


Authored by: Andy Smith

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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In the final section of the Handbook, the authors explore some key aspects of the politics and policy of youth sport. Each of the contributions address the central issues that have been examined in the preceding sections of this Handbook, and collectively they indicate how youth sport constitutes a ‘crowded policy space’ (Houlihan, 2000) in which young people are in much demand by policy makers and those responsible for programme delivery. As in other areas of social and welfare policy, the chapters in Section 8 reveal how youth sport remains a setting in which policy ‘is introduced into a context where differing and often competing interests will view young people variously as future or potential workers and citizens, health sector clients, elite athletes, consumers of leisure services, etc’ (Houlihan, 2000: 181). Many of these sectoral interests in young people are represented in the four chapters which address elite youth sport policy (De Bosscher et al.), youth sport development in small states (Sam), youth-focused sport-for-change programmes (Coalter), and community sport for young people (Ives et al.).

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