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Title: What can we learn from using boxing as an intervention for children and young people?
Author: Taylor, Jo
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis presents an exploration of the experiences of children and young people (CYP) participating in boxing as an intervention (BAAI) at a charity. This charity provides boxing training with the stated aim to reduce gang involvement, school exclusion and mental health needs. These issues have attracted a large amount of government and media attention as they are reported to relate to negative life outcomes for individuals. Research into boxing is a developing area and there is a lack of understanding about how CYP experience participation. In the wider sports literature, it is argued that interventions can provide CYP with personal development opportunities, social support and therapeutic input; and there is a developed debate around how CYP experience might vary according to the method of intervention delivery. More broadly, the research base for informal education also describes a range of benefits which individuals can receive from learning opportunities outside of school or college. However, the engagement process is argued to an individual one, with CYP’s experiences being influenced by their preference, context and history. For this study an ecological model helped to understand the CYP’s experience of BAAI in relation to the interaction of individual factors, social variables and history. These experiences were explored by conducting semi structured interviews with CYP and coaches, which were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings included themes which described how coaches facilitated a developmental journey through boxing training; involving the attraction, and retention of CYP, the building of trust and the expression of a long term vision for attendees’ futures. Four more themes detailed factors which contributed to participants experiencing benefits as a result of BAAI. These findings were organised in relation to how they might fit into the ecosystem of a CYP, to better understand how boxing training was being experienced. Recommendations for professionals and directions for future research are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available