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Are “youth days” effective at motivating new sport participation? Evidence from a pre-post event research design

Jordan Taylor Bakhsh (School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Luke R. Potwarka (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)
Ryan Snelgrove (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 30 December 2019

Issue publication date: 16 March 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects that exposure to a youth day event at an elite sport competition has on youth spectators’ motivations to participate in the sport on display.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper was underpinned by the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Pre- and post-event questionnaires were administered to local grade seven and eight students (n=318) as part of a youth day event at the 2016 Milton International Track Cycling Challenge in Ontario, Canada. Questionnaires assessed each TPB construct one week before the youth day and immediately following the event.

Findings

The paper provides empirical insights about the shifts from pre- to post-event behavioral antecedent measures. Results suggest youth day events can be effective at driving positive shifts in participation intention and subjective norm among youth populations.

Research limitations/implications

A control group was not possible as an ethical limitation was created from the school boards which did not allow for some students/classes within the study to not experience the event. Researchers are encouraged to develop a study which allows for a youth control group and assesses the shift in behavioral antecedents at multiple time points post-event.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for how to leverage subjective norms as a means of motivating post-event participation.

Originality/value

The paper fulfils a methodological gap to move beyond cross-sectional data and employ pre-post event research designs to measure the effect spectating an elite sport competition can have on youth’s motivation to participate in the sport on display.

Keywords

Citation

Bakhsh, J.T., Potwarka, L.R. and Snelgrove, R. (2020), "Are “youth days” effective at motivating new sport participation? Evidence from a pre-post event research design", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 89-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-03-2019-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited