• An examination of the recontextualisation of national sport policy when implemented into practice: a case study of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’

      Price, Rianna (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-11-04)
      The purpose of this study is to investigate the recontextualisation of a sport policy into the local level, through a case study of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ (TGC) campaign in order to examine the implementation gap currently in UK sport policy. Bernstein’s pedagogical approach (1996) is used as the theoretical framework to analyse how intended outcomes are not implemented in practice. A Case Study research design facilitated the use of multiple qualitative methods: semistructured interviews (n=7) with participants in the field of Sport Development. They were asked to share their perspectives on policy and delivery, specifically TGC, and their experiences of delivery ‘on the ground’. An online questionnaire gathered information about respondents’ (n=41) sport and PA participation and their experience of TGC. Analysis of the data was conducted using a combination of content and thematic analysis. The research findings indicate that there is an implementation gap in sport policy to practice regarding TGC. The intention of the TGC campaign was to encourage women to think differently about sport and PA, in part through a model of behaviour change. Sport England claims that the campaign had an impressive influence as a result of the use of television and public space advertisements which enhanced public and media attention. At a local level, however, national organisations (such as Sport England) failed to facilitate development of the knowledge or resources required by practitioners to effectively implement the strategy. Provider’s recontextulaised the policy to fit their understanding or the needs in their local environment and in so doing did not follow the intentions of TGC. It is essential that the relationship between the national (policy makers) and local (implementation) be rebuilt in order for sport policies, campaigns and programmes to be more effective and suit the needs and resources available for practitioners. Rebranded solutions may be provided for recurring problems, where the implementation gap affects policy being accurately implemented because there is limited connection with specific needs on the ground.