Community sport researcher receives international awards

In recognition of nearly 25 years of research in the field of sport management, particularly in the area of community sport organizations (CSOs), Western University kinesiology professor Alison Doherty will be receiving two awards from the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) at its annual conference, slated for May 22-26 in Seattle.
Doherty will receive the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award, NASSM’s most prestigious honour, in addition to the Garth Paton Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service contributions to the organization.

Her research into CSOs – which are non-profit, voluntary organizations that provide many of the recreational and competitive sport opportunities available to communities across the country – focuses on the capacity of these organizations to maintain and increase sport participation as they attempt to meet the Government of Canada’s mandate to enhance the physical activity of Canadians (Canadian Sport Policy, 2002; Physical Activity and Sport Act, 2003).

“CSOs are expected to be major players in providing these opportunities for increased sport participation and it is important to understand the capacity of these organizations to contribute to the government’s mandate,” says Doherty.

Another issue addressed through Doherty’s research is the new Long Term Athlete Development Program (LTAD), which focuses on moderating the degree and intensity of children’s involvement in competitive sport through customized programs, rules and equipment.

“All of this will play out at the grassroots level and so it is incumbent upon CSOs to do the adjusting,” says Doherty. “Keeping in mind these are for the most part volunteer-run non-profit clubs with bare-bones budgets, this will be no small task.”