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Article

Exploring Critical Alternatives for Youth Development through Lifestyle Sport: Surfing and Community Development in Aotearoa/New Zealand

1
Te Huataki Waiora/The Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
2
School of Human movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122298
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leisure, Tourism, Sport and Community Development)
While competition-based team sports remain dominant in community and sport-for-development programs, researchers are exploring the value of alternative, less “sportized” activities such as lifestyle/action sports. In this paper, we explore the ways in which surfing is being used in development programs in Aotearoa/New Zealand, examining the perceived social benefits and impact. Our methods involved: (a) mapping the range of surfing projects; and (b) 8 in-depth interviews with program personnel. Widespread conviction in the positive developmental benefits of surfing was evident, and that surfing had a “special” capacity to reform or heal those who participate in it. However, the ways in which individuals’ self-developments were promoted appear to be following the traditional sport/youth development path. They focus on policies aimed at improved life chances, equipping youth with the tools for self-improvement and self-management, inculcating self-governance and self-reliance. However, a counter narrative co-existed, highlighting surfing as a freeing experience, which, rather than restoring social order, works to instigate a personal transformation or awakening. Despite the range of challenges presented by surfing as a tool for positive development, surfing presents a potentially “critical alternative” which if sport-for-development programs are to be a form of social change, we should remain open to exploring. View Full-Text
Keywords: surfing; youth development; sport for development; action sport; lifestyle sport; blue space; New Zealand surfing; youth development; sport for development; action sport; lifestyle sport; blue space; New Zealand
MDPI and ACS Style

Wheaton, B.; Roy, G.; Olive, R. Exploring Critical Alternatives for Youth Development through Lifestyle Sport: Surfing and Community Development in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122298

AMA Style

Wheaton B, Roy G, Olive R. Exploring Critical Alternatives for Youth Development through Lifestyle Sport: Surfing and Community Development in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Sustainability. 2017; 9(12):2298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122298

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wheaton, Belinda, Georgina Roy, and Rebecca Olive. 2017. "Exploring Critical Alternatives for Youth Development through Lifestyle Sport: Surfing and Community Development in Aotearoa/New Zealand" Sustainability 9, no. 12: 2298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122298

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