New scholarship to bolster youth sport

Youth engagement in sport will get a boost, thanks to a new scholarship from Flinders University and the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing.

James Kay has been awarded the inaugural Enterprise PHD Scholarship

Current Flinders University PhD candidate James Kay has been awarded the three-and-a-half-year Enterprise PHD Scholarship, with his research aiming to develop a method for re-engaging youth back into organised sport.

James will also undertake a 60-day internship with the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing, under the project supervision of SHAPE Research Centre experts Dr Sam Elliott, Professor Murray Drummond, Dr Jasmine Petersen, and Michelle Crisp from the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing. The jointly-funded PhD study aims to understand contemporary dropout behaviour among youth, develop an evidence-based method for re-engaging youth into sport, and to implement and evaluate this new method in a local sporting context.

At its conclusion, this project will provide important policy advice for the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing as it pursues its vision of South Australia being an ‘Active State’.

Michelle Crisp says she is excited to begin working with James and Flinders, to deliver the new PhD. “We we will offer him as much guidance and assistance as possible while he helps us to tackle one of the most elusive challenges in organised sport – which is how to re-engage youth back into sport,” she says.

James hopes his research will be a game-changer for South Australia and beyond. “I’m looking forward to developing my research skills and helping to create positive change for our community who continue to provide fantastic opportunities for young people to play sport, but often struggle to re-engage them once they drop out,” he says.

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College of Education Psychology and Social Work