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"More than a game": the impact of sport-based youth mentoring schemes on developing resilience toward violent extremism

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Johns, Amelia; Grossman, Michele; Mcdonald, Kevin

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Abstract This paper draws upon the findings of an evaluation of "More than a Game", a sport-focused youth mentoring program in Melbourne, Australia that aimed to develop a community-based resilience model using team-based sports to address issues of identity, belonging, and cultural isolation amongst young Muslim men in order to counter forms of violent extremism. In this essay we focus specifically on whether the intense embodied encounters and emotions experienced in team sports can help break down barriers of cultural and religious difference between young people and facilitate experiences of resilience, mutual respect, trust, social inclusion and belonging. Whilst the project findings are directly relevant to the domain of countering violent extremism, they also contribute to a growing body of literature which considers the relationship between team-based sport, cross-cultural engagement and the development of social resilience, inclusion and belonging in other domains of youth engagement and community-building.
Keywords youth; inclusion; social integration; identity; Muslim; violence; team sports; fight against terrorism; soccer; social network; Australia
Classification Leisure Research; Social Problems; Social Work, Social Pedagogics, Social Planning
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 57-70
Journal Social Inclusion, 2 (2014) 2
Issue topic Migrant youth, intercultural relations and the challenges of social inclusion
ISSN 2183-2803
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution