Recruitment is known to be a challenge for intervention programs targeting youths, including sports programs. Following the popularity of the Alter-Action program of
the Montreal-based organization DesÉquilibres, we wanted to understand the motivations and barriers to youths’ recruitment in this voluntary sports community program. A qualitative methodology was favored. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews (n = 27) with participants, 5 (n = 5) with the partners, and we carried out a focus group with 5 (n = 5) of the organization’s service practitioners. We also conducted a participant observation with youth cohorts and during preparatory
meetings. Five factors influencing recruitment emerged: (1) socialization/belonging; (2) training/physical aspects; (3) ‘extraordinary’ dimension; (4) practicality of the program; and (5) social influences. Four key elements thus appear important to consider when promoting the recruitment of youths in voluntary community
programs: (1) favoring social interactions; (2) insisting on the specific and beneficial elements of the program; (3) allowing youths to experiment a trial period; and (4)
including testimonies of former participants in the information session. Further recommendations for psychosocial intervention programs targeting youths are discussed in this article.
Young people; Sports; Recruitment; Motivational factors; Community program
Studies have shown that sports programs for young people can have a positive impact on their social abilities (Bailey, 2005; Spaaij, 2012), self-esteem (Gendron, Royer, Bertrand, & Potvin, 2005), civil involvement (Donnelly & Coakley, 2002), etc.
However, one of the major challenges of voluntary intervention programs for…
Catherine Plante et Al, Sport, education and Society, 21 mars 2015.