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Action sports for youth development: critical insights for the SDP community


Thorpe, H.



International Journal of Sport Policy

Tipo de publicación

Artículo de revista



Palabras clave

Youth, action sports, sports for development and peace building


This article identifies new trends in youth sport participation, particularly the growing popularity of non-competitive, informal, non-institutionalized ‘action sports’ (e.g., skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, parkour). Drawing upon an array of international examples and qualitative research including interviews and media analysis, it considers the potential of action sports for making a valuable contribution to the sport for development and peace (SDP) movement. More specifically, the author argues that those working in the field of sport for youth development would do well to critically consider the alternative value systems in action sports and to recognize youth agency and creativity in both developed and (re)developing nations. It concludes by offering policy implications and encouraging youth-focused SDP initiatives to move beyond the ‘deficit model’ and towards more collaborative projects that provide space for local voices and acknowledge youth agency.


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