The Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model in Canada and the Junior Sport Framework (JSF) in Australia are two platforms used to establish athlete development policy. This study analysed the perceptions of sports practitioners in relation to the effectiveness of selected athlete development policy and whether those perceptions reflected the intent of the policy makers. It did so in relation to three sports in Canada and three in Australia. Competition structure, coach education and athlete development pathway were areas of policy that were specifically focussed upon. Limited research had been applied to athlete development policy. This study used qualitative research and semi-structured interview to seek the perceptions of the practitioners in relation to the intent and the effect of the athlete development policy of their sport. Insight into the motivation, intent, core beliefs and philosophy behind the policy platforms was gained. The perception of the coaches interviewed in some sports (Speed Skating – Canada; Netball and Cricket - Aus) reflected the intent of the policy and its platform, whilst others (Basketball – Australia; Athletics and Cycling - Canada) were unclear as to the intent of the NSOs policy. Close review of the LTAD model suggests that there are some contestable elements to its claims. The research provided evidence to suggest that the segregation of the LTAD policy from the LTAD model could be an effective manner in which the advancement of athlete development policy in Canada could occur. The intent and core philosophy of the LTAD was not clear to either the practitioners or the policy makers. The research sought the ideas of practitioners as to what a good athlete development policy should encompass. Such input provided a template upon which future policy makers could use and future policy analysts in this genre could base their analysis to determine the effectiveness of athlete development policies. Recommendations to government, NSOs and policy analysts around the advancement of athlete development policy were provided.
|Date of Award||2010|
|Supervisor||John Dodd (Supervisor) & Robin Mcconnell (Supervisor)|