• A research project to aid Volleyball England meet their ‘increasing participation’ funding requirement

      Hills, Jade (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-09)
      Since 2003, National Governing Bodies of sport have had an increasing accountability for meeting the targets set within their Whole Sport Plans. Recent sport policies have reiterated the importance of gathering insight into customer needs in order to create evidence based programmes to achieve behaviour change in relation to increasing participation. This study aims to gather insight into the reasons for participation in volleyball, the barriers which prevent individuals from participating, and possible solutions to overcome those barriers and increase participation. Following a pragmatic paradigm and a grounded theory methodology, the study utilised five different research methods; an online questionnaire; telephone interviews; an email questionnaire; face-to-face interviews; and a document analysis. The main findings in this study relate to the barriers to participation and suggested solutions to overcome those barriers. The main barriers to participation found within the online questionnaire were having other commitments (n=106), lack of time (n=99) and access to facilities being limited or non-existent (n=75). With regard to suggested solutions, the main suggestions were time slots to fit individual lifestyles (n=92), knowledge of where to play (n=69) and wider volleyball coverage in the media (n=57). These findings are discussed in more depth within the telephone interviews and email questionnaires results, findings regarding volleyball participation, reasons for participation, and the importance of insight for National Governing Bodies are also studied. Overall, this thesis demonstrates the complex nature of sport policy and funding for National Governing Bodies, whilst providing Volleyball England with an understanding of how to increase their recreational volleyball participation figures.