- The glue that holds the community together? Sport and sustainability in rural Australia
- Sport in Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Drawing on the author's research in northwest Victoria, Australia, this essay examines the forms of capital that are created in and through rural sport as well as the processes of social inclusion and exclusion that structure access to social networks and to the resources these networks contain. In the face of economic and social changes that affect the region, rural sport participants view local sport clubs as vital community hubs fostering social cohesion, local and regional identities and a shared focus and outlet. Sporting competitions in northwest Victoria also contribute to cultural and economic capital for some participants, and to relatively limited stocks of linking social capital. While the creation and transference of these capitals are to a large degree regulated by wider social divisions, structural changes in the area present increased opportunities for other people, including young women, to take on leadership roles and to develop new skills and knowledge through sport participation.
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