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Health promotion policies, perceptions, actions and needs in sports clubs in Ireland

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-02, 12:44 authored by Aurelie Van HoyeAurelie Van Hoye, Benny Cullen, Aoife Lane, Kevin Volf, Liam Kelly, Enrique Garcia BengoecheaEnrique Garcia Bengoechea, Anne Vuillemin, CATHERINE WOODSCATHERINE WOODS

Objective: Policy development is the biggest gap for health-promoting sports clubs. The present study aims to identify Irish sports club’s involvement in health promotion (HP) policy development.

Design: Mixed methods concurrent survey design, with quantitative data providing insights into priorities, activities and documentation and qualitative data documenting stakeholders’ perceived needs.

Setting: Two hundred and thirty-nine sports clubs in Ireland.

Method: The survey measured perceptions of HP, the importance of promoting 10 health topics (e.g. suicide prevention, healthy eating, addictive behaviours) and corresponding actions relevant to HP in club policy documents and future needs. Quantitative data were analysed using multivariate statistics. The policy cycle was used to conduct a deductive analysis of qualitative data on sports clubs’ perceived needs

Results: A high importance score (>70%) was found for the 10 health topics. Sports clubs reported their greatest investment was in physical activity promotion, and the lowest investment was in supporting the participation of disabled people. Up to two thirds of sports clubs had no HP policy. Irish sports clubs’ perceptions of HP showed higher but similar patterns of response relative to sports clubs in other countries. 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that sports clubs consider HP to be an important part of their remit, but up to 66% have no policy in this regard. The policy cycle analysis helped identify the key tools needed to promote sports clubs’ HP policy development. Practical implications include fostering the inclusion of HP in sports clubs’ development plans by establishing templates and receiving support from sports federations.


Co-construction of the Health Promoting Sports Clubs-Policy Audit Tool

European Commission

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Health Education Journal, 2024


SAGE Publications

Also affiliated with

  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

Sustainable development goals

  • (3) Good Health and Well-being

Department or School

  • Physical Education and Sports Science

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