Using Sport as a ‘tool’ in Youth Work – more than a few questions

Ta to healthyliving.az.central

Funnily enough, I came into youth work as a part-timer, given the responsibility for running the gym in a magnificent, rambling building, formerly the National Coal Board’s Centre for apprentices – hence the facilities. Thus, sweating profusely, doing sport together with young people was my passport into making relationships. This said it was contradictory. Long ago I tried to write something about anti-sexist practice with young men,  the tensions of trying to be anti-sexist in the football or rugby team.

Any road there’s been a conversation on Facebook about the role of sport in youth work. which gives me the excuse to post a link to Sean Harte’s challenging dissertation.

Taking Sides – “A critical sociological analysis of competitive sport as a medium for democratic youth work”

Sean is concerned that it was written a few years ago, but I think its argument retains its pertinence. And to add, it’s a pleasure to rescue a dissertation/essay from post-qualification oblivion. If you’ve got a piece, which you think is worth sharing, just get in touch.

Sean’s foreword is as follows:

Some supporters of the notion that sport builds character suggest that `it’s not the winning that’s important, it’s the taking part’. The lyrics from the song below perhaps suggest that many supporters and participants of sport have a very different outlook on what is important …

 

WE’RE GONNA WIN

 

WE’RE GONNA WIN

DON’T WANNA BE A LOSER – GONNA WIN

CUZ WINNIN’ REALLY IS THE ONLY THING

GET OUT OF THE WAY WE’RE COMING IN

IF YA WANNA FIGHT JUST STEP INSIDE THE RING

DOES ANYBODY WANNA TAKE A SWING?

IT’S GOTTA BE ALL OR NOTHING

OH YEH WE’RE GONNA BE THE CHAMPIONS

YA WE’RE GOIN’ ALL THE WAY

WE’RE GONNA WIN

 

WE’RE GONNA WIN

FORGET ABOUT A DRAW – WE GONNA SCORE

AND THEN WE’RE GONNA GET A FEW MORE

MAYBE ANOTHER ONE JUST TO BE SURE

WE’LL MAKE YA LOOK JUST LIKE AN AMATEUR

UNTIL THE FINAL WHISTLE IT’S A WAR

AND THEN WE GONNA PICK YA OF THE FLOOR

WE WANNA HEAR THE CROWD REALLY ROAR

YA – WE’RE COMIN’ IN WE GONNA WIN WIN

 

WE’RE GONNA WIN – WE WANNA WIN

CUZ NUMBER ONE IS EVERYTHING

WE’RE GONNA WIN – WE WANNA WIN

WE’RE GONNA BE THE CHAMPIONS

WE’RE GONNA WIN

 

Written by Bryan Adams and R. I. Lange

©1996 Badams Music Ltd. / Zomba Music Publishers Ltd.