Child and youth sports entrepreneurs on a commercial playing field – a positioning analysis

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🇬🇧 In Swedish


Jesper Karlsson1, Magnus Kilger2, Åsa Bäckström1,
och Karin Redelius
1
1 Department of Movement, Culture and Society, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH; 2 Section for Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University


This article examines how commercial sport entrepreneurs position themselves and their businesses in relation to Swedish voluntary youth club sport. The study investigates the various positions that entrepreneurs take in relation to youth sport and the discourses surrounding it from the perspective of entrepreneurs. In the results, three different positions are highlighted: 1) The regular, passionate child and youth sport enthusiast; 2) the entrepreneurs as complementary actors in relation to organized sports; and 3) the position of entrepreneurs in relation to the surrounding society. In conclusion, the entrepreneurs do not position themselves as a threat to the Swedish sport movement. But at the same time, they assert, in diverse ways, that their business surpasses those of sport clubs in terms of providing sport for children and youth. Furthermore, they appear to position their services towards selected families over others, operating within a framework in which child and youth sports are increasingly treated as a commodifiable entity in contemporary society.


Click here to read this peer reviewed article in Swedish in Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, Vol. 14, 2023


JESPER KARLSSON is a former PhD student at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH) and currently works as a temporary lecturer at the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University. His PhD thesis is about commercialization of child and youth sport and his primary research interest is child and youth sport in a post-industrial society.

MAGNUS KILGER is an Associate Professor in Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University. One of his research areas is talent management in youth sports and how young participants handle a privileged position. Magnus works primarily within the theoretical fields of narrative and discourse analysis. He is also associate editor of the international journal YOUNG: Nordic journal of youth research.

ÅSA BÄCKSTRÖM is an Associate Professor in Sport Science at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH). Her research interests include informal learning processes, youth, culture, and gender. Skateboarding has been particularly focused and Bäckström’s work has appeared in e.g., Leisure Studies and Sport, Education and Society. Beside her international publications she is one of the editors for the Swedish Sport Management trilogy from SISU Publishing House.

KARIN REDELIUS is a Professor in Sports Pedagogy at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH). She has conducted studies for over 25 years about pedagogical aspects of child and youth sport as well as school Physical Education. Her main research interests concern human rights in youth sport, such as youths’ participation rights including the right to have a voice.


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