Intersectoral Action to Enhance the Social Inclusion of Socially Vulnerable Youth through Sport: An Exploration of the Elements of Successful Partnerships between Youth Work Organisations and Local Sports Clubs

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

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Intersectoral Action to Enhance the Social Inclusion of Socially Vulnerable Youth through Sport: An Exploration of the Elements of Successful Partnerships between Youth Work Organisations and Local Sports Clubs


  • Niels Hermens Department of Social Sciences, Health and Society Group, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands, Verwey-Jonker Institute, The Netherlands
  • Sabina Super Department of Social Sciences, Health and Society Group, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands
  • Kirsten Verkooijen Department of Social Sciences, Health and Society Group, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands
  • Maria Koelen Department of Social Sciences, Health and Society Group, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands


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Abstract:  Research shows that participation in sport is positively related to self-esteem, self-regulation skills, and social inclusion. As socially vulnerable youngsters participate less frequently in sports activities than their average peers, youth work organisations try to guide their clients (i.e., socially vulnerable youngsters) to local sports clubs and inclusive sports activities. Inclusive sports activities, however, cannot be provided by youth work organisations alone. Therefore, in the Netherlands, intersectoral action involving both youth work organisations and local sports clubs has emerged. Because youth workers and stakeholders in local sports clubs are not used to collaborating with each other, we explored the factors that contribute to the quality and performance of such intersectoral actions. On the basis of five open interviews with youth workers and three focus groups with stakeholders in local sports clubs, we described factors relating to the organisation of intersectoral action among youth workers and local sports clubs that are preconditions for the success of this specific type of intersectoral action.

Keywords:  inclusive sports activities; intersectoral action; partnerships; socially vulnerable youth; youth work

Published:   25 June 2015


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v3i3.139


© The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.