Experiences of amateur athletes’ non-participating entourage at participatory sport events
Kennelly, M, Lamont, M, Hillman, P & Moyle, B 2018, 'Experiences of amateur athletes’ non-participating entourage at participatory sport events', Journal of Sport and Tourism.
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The proliferation of participatory sport events is attracting scholarly attention, with extant research primarily focusing on profiling participants, and understanding participants’ experiences. The experiences and perspectives of those who travel to participatory sport events to support competing athletes, the ‘non-participating entourage’ (NPE), have largely been overlooked. This stakeholder group is arguably under-recognised by those staging participatory sport events. The purpose of this study was to explore NPE experiences at participatory sport events, adopting a phenomenological approach and employing stakeholder theory as an interpretive lens. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 21 NPE of amateur athletes in Australia. Findings highlighted that NPE provide emotional and logistical support to their athlete at events. However, while providing support, NPE also experienced positive and negative emotions arising from contextual factors including their relationship to the athlete, group composition, athlete performance, and event design and conditions. This research highlights a vexed, though crucial stakeholder relationship between NPE and event management organisations, requiring unique stakeholder management strategies.