Research In Action

Research Briefs

SMRC in The News


Voucher programs can help leverage participation in new sport opportunities

Cities that want to get the best use of sport facilities built to host novel events might want to give out vouchers for free trials to spectators. Dr. Potwarka’s study examined the impact of presenting vouchers to spectators attending elite-track cycling competitions to test whether they would participate in the sport. The study found that spectators who had a low intention to try the sport but were given a voucher were more likely to try it than those who had a high intention but did not receive a voucher for a free trial. Read more about Dr. Potwarka’s work here.


Coming of Age with Relative Age Research: Origins, Consequences, and Potential Solutions

Many youth development systems rely on arbitrary cut-off dates to group individuals into cohorts, which result in age differences among children within a single cohort. This can lead to a phenomenon known as the relative age effect (RAE), which tends to advantage the oldest individuals in a cohort and disadvantage their relatively younger peers.

Read more about Dr. Dixon’s work on the relative age effect in the SIRCuit or on the SIRC Blog


Capacity building is a strategic approach to addressing challenges facing sport organizations

Community sports clubs often face capacity-related challenges that can limit the impact of programs in the community. Dr. Millar and Dr. Doherty compared two clubs in their efforts to build capacity to address some environmental force placed on the organization, and found that the willingness and motivation of organizational members, the alignment of building efforts with existing processes, and the suitability of the strategies used to build capacity were key factors in the success of capacity-building efforts overall. To read more about this project, click here or access the article published in the Journal of Sport Management.


A Positive Environment for Volunteer Coaches: The Role of Psychological Contract

In recent years, there has been a noted decline in volunteerism, and sport has been no exception to this trend. Understanding volunteer coaches’ psychological contract may be a useful strategy to support a positive coaching environment to promote volunteer retention.

Read more about Dr. Harman and Dr. Doherty’s work in the SIRCuit



Sponsorship as a means of raising funds for local sport participation opportunities

Brands are beginning to see the value in partnering with small-scale, grassroots sport organizations for lifestyle marketing. Dr. Terry Eddy examined participant perceptions towards these brands and found that they felt very positively about the sponsors and indicated they were likely to purchase sponsors’ products. The study lends support to brands seeking sponsorships with community-level sport organizations, and even small spends can have a significant impact on the community.

Read more about Dr. Eddy’s research here.


A Call to Action to Support Women’s Sport

In response to the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), Dr. Katie Lebel penned a piece in The Star calling for collective action that is needed to craft a culture that not only supports women’s hockey but celebrates and values its contributions.

Read the full piece here.

Ensuring Safe Sport in Canada

Despite continuing advances in concussion diagnosis and treatment and educational campaigns about this injury, awareness/recognition of concussion and removal from play in particular continue to be challenging aspects. Prof. Alison Doherty is leading an interdisciplinary project that will identify the variety of factors, at different levels, that facilitate or present barriers to awareness and removal from play, including the athlete him or herself, teammates, coaches and parents, the sport club and provincial and national governing bodies, medical information and guidelines, legal requirements, and social and cultural influences in the sport and in society at large.

Taking Action: Community Sport Organizations and Social Responsibility

Recent evidence shows that community sport organizations are taking on a wider social role in their communities by engaging in socially responsible actions beyond their sport programs. Dr. Katie Misener’s research demonstrates how and why these organizations are expanding their scope to take on social action, and the impact of their efforts within the organization.
For a short video on the findings, click here.
Read more about Dr. Misener’s work in the SIRCuit.