Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Sport for Vulnerable Youth: The Role of Multi-Professional Groups in Sustaining Intersectoral Collaboration

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Abstract:  Intersectoral actions in the sport-for-development field constitute a pre-condition for the implementation of sport-based interventions. At an operational level, the multi-professional group is the tool through which intersectoral collaboration may successfully achieve its aims. Despite the prominent role of the group, this topic is under-researched in terms of understanding intersectoral actions in the sport-for-development field. By applying a psycho-sociological perspective, our research explores the role of the multi-professional group as a limit/resource for sport-for-development workers that operate with vulnerable youth. Following a phenomenological interpretive approach, 12 practitioners (six sport workers and six social workers) participated in semi-structured interviews to explore the role of multi-professional groups as a resource/limit in working with socially vulnerable youth through sport. The results indicate that, in the participants’ experience, belonging to a multi-professional group is a meaningful resource to trigger reflexivity, promote collaboration and integrate their different professions. The interviews highlighted the positive potential of this tool to address the challenges that emerge when working with socially vulnerable youth, including the management of negative emotions, unexpected events and the relationship with young people. Some interviews also suggested that the presence of multiple professions, under certain circumstances, may be a risk when working with youth. These findings have significant value for programme design, strategy and management as they show the value of trans-disciplinary practices as an agenda for social inclusion through sport.

Keywords:  intersectoral collaboration; multi-professional group; social vulnerability; sports; youth


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© Chiara D'Angelo, Chiara Corvino, Eloisa Cianci, Caterina Gozzoli. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.