Sport development - plan, programme and practice : a case study of the planned intervention by New Zealand cricket into cricket in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Management, College of Business, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Sport development is a highly contested, multifaceted concept that means different things to different people depending upon their perspective, involvement, objectives and outcomes. These differences in meaning of sport development are considered and a continuum of interpretations of the concept proposed. One of the interpretations identified, the ‘development of sport’, provides the conceptual framework for this research. The 'development of sport' refers to the efforts of sporting organisations to remain contemporary and ensure their future sustainability by creating and maintaining a range of appealing, relevant, accessible and affordable sporting opportunities and experiences that attract and retain participants. The 'development of sport' has usually been an organic, small‐scale, ‘bottom‐up’ process driven by proactive regions, clubs or schools. In the last two decades in New Zealand (NZ), however, many traditional sports have come under pressure from a variety of social, economic and political sources that have impacted on their participation levels. This has prompted large scale, ‘top‐down’, planned interventions by a number of National Sport Organisations (NSOs), which have had the leadership, vision, capability, capacity and financial resources, to grow and sustain their participation by influencing the range and quality of programmes being provided at a community level in clubs and schools. Such interventions reflect the adoption of a more holistic approach by NSOs to their sports, and with it a change in emphasis away from just high performance to increasingly recognise the importance of community sport foundations. This has occurred not just to identify and select more individuals with the potential to progress to an elite level, but also to encourage the lifelong involvement in, and consumption of, their sport by the majority of participants. It has required NSOs to affect a major change management process down through their sporting organisations. This process has necessarily involved the design of coordinated sport development plans and programmes, that provide a value proposition for community stakeholders, and their implementation by regional networks of sport‐specific Sport Development Officers (SDOs) and volunteers in clubs and schools. This qualitative research considers when and why sport development emerged in NZ and how it has changed over time. It provides a historical context for the researcher as a practitionermanager, using his personal experience, understanding and insights, to construct as an insiderresearcher an in‐depth, longitudinal case study of the planned intervention undertaken by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to revitalise and grow cricket in NZ at a community level. It concentrates on the first decade of the intervention between 1998 and 2008, is informed by mixed data collection methods and multiple sources of evidence and draws on relevant scholarship from sport development, sport history and change management to examine the key features of NZC’s national sport development plan and programme, the translation of these, by a regional delivery network of SDOs, into practice, and their impact on cricket in the community. The NZC case study is used as an exemplar to illustrate how and why a 'top‐down', 'development of sport' process needs to be planned and coordinated, if it is to be effective in ensuring the long‐term sustainability of a sport at a community level. This process, which involved a sequence of essential steps of innovation and change, represents one approach to the creation and maintenance of new sporting opportunities and experiences, as well as the provision of associated improvements in the infrastructure and services within clubs and schools to support their effective delivery. For these benefits to be long‐term and sustainable, development and delivery must be interconnected as one integrated system. The lessons learned from NZC's planned intervention experience about the 'development of sport' process, and the sequence of steps ‐ from understanding the need to influence change within its community game, through to designing a comprehensive sport development plan and programme, then leading and managing its implementation, are articulated and their applicability discussed for other NSOs in NZ seeking to initiate similar change in their sports at a community level. In addition, to the practical application of these lessons, the theoretical and historical insights into sport development also provide a source of reference for those looking to further explore the concept.
Sport development, Cricket, New Zealand, Sport management, Sports administration, New Zealand, Sport foundations