Mobilizing capacity to achieve the mainstreaming of disability sport

P J Kitchin, Charlotte Peile, Jim Lowther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
226 Downloads (Pure)


Rationale: Mainstreaming is the policy of integrating the responsibility for disability sport provision into nondisabled sports organizations. While a contemporary organizational practice, we know little about how this process works.

Purpose: We explore how sports organizations mobilized organizational capacity to implement mainstreaming.

Method: Multiple case analyses was constructed on the experiences of three non-profit, provincial Northern Irish sporting organizations through documents and interviews.

Findings: In order to mainstream disability sport financial, human, and network resources were combined and leveraged. Specifically, funds underpinned a commitment from staff, who drew upon their networks to attract and retain volunteers, educate the workforce, and develop more networks essential for programme creation. In each case however, insufficient planning limited the type and diversity of inclusive provision, and threatened sustainability.

Practical Implications: Strategies need to be led by a community of practice drawn from the mixed economy of providers that support the development of disabled people through sport, not just sport organisations themselves.

Research Contribution: This study provides new insights into how capacity is mobilized to mainstream disability sport. It highlights that appropriate policy support and planning mechanisms need to be in place before provision is enacted to ensure more inclusive provision from the outset.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)424-444
Number of pages21
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Issue number6
Early online date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Nov 2019


  • mainstreaming
  • orgnaizational capacity
  • disability sport
  • inclusion
  • integration
  • organizational capacity
  • Mainstreaming


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