Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Extreme volunteering : a holistic perspective on international women sport volunteers
Author: Gipson, Christina Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 7965
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the lives of a group of fifteen exceptional women who were dedicated to the cause of advancing girls and women in sport and physical activity. Over several decades, they worked in a voluntary capacity to transform women in sport through practice and policy development. Moreover, they aligned such unpaid work with personal and local experiences of volunteering that eventually led to their participation in international sport circles and policies. The key settings for their voluntary service came from their roles in the emergence and maintenance of two international women‘s sport organisations – International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW) and WomenSport International (WSI). In addition, their voluntary roles were so substantial that they were inextricably interwoven within all aspects of their lives. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the participants‘ relationships with sport volunteering, in the particular settings of IAPESGW and WSI, whilst analysing the role of volunteering in their lives. The study utilised a holistic framework to gain an in-depth understanding about the women‘s commitment to the cause and how volunteering fits into their lifestyle. As there were no models from the sport volunteering field that were appropriate for this study, the research drew upon and developed Hustinx and Lammertyn‘s (2003) non-sport model called the Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering (SOV). The SOV was valuable because it offered a multi-dimensional approach to explain how, why, and when the participants got involved with advancing women‘s sport and physical activity, and how their involvement related to and influenced their wider lifestyles. A critical realist and social constructionist philosophy was employed to have a greater understanding of the women‘s realities, and life history interviews were conducted to gain a greater understanding about how they constructed their knowledge about themselves, sport, and the world around them. The study illustrated the complexity of the women‘s volunteer participation. The findings suggested that their sport passion and identity guided many of their actions and activities throughout their life, such as choices for higher education and within professional work. In addition, the findings showed that it was their personal experiences and gained knowledge about gender disadvantages in sport that initially stimulated and then repeatedly reinforced their interests and commitment. Although these had strong impacts on the women‘s entrance into and commitment to the cause, the findings highlighted that the women had to identify the conditions of their relationships, family, and types of paid work to be compatible with levels of volunteering. The study concluded that sport researchers can benefit from examining volunteers from a holistic perspective to gain a better understanding of the conditions under which individuals make such an extreme, voluntary contribution to sport.
Supervisor: Brackenridge, C. H.; Hills, L.; Kay, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women volunteers ; Women's organisations ; Collective and reflexive styles of volunteer model in sports ; Sports volunteering ; Critical realism and social constructionism