The mainstreaming of disability cricket in England and Wales: Integration ‘One Game’ at a time

Paul James Kitchin, P. D. Howe

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41 Citations (Scopus)
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Disability sport in Great Britain has, since its genesis over sixty years ago, gained greater public profile with each passing decade. Arguably, this is a result of a more direct, interventionist approach from the British government and the Sport Councils into the field of disability sport over the past twenty years. In this paper we highlight a case of integration within sport by examining the process of mainstreaming disability cricket within England and Wales. Following a review of the extant literature in this area we will draw upon Bourdieu's practice theory in order to examine the impact of the implementation of policy on the management of issues of disability in mainstream cricket. Longitudinal ethnographic data (including participant observation and semi-structured interviews) was collected on the organizations involved in this mainstreaming process. Informants were either involved in the delivery of disability cricket or in the management of disability sports partnerships. Preliminary findings suggest that true integration is still unrealized. Whether the policy seeks true integration or whether mainstreaming is simply another modernizing process seeking greater efficiencies from sport organizations is unclear. Nevertheless a number of institutional pressures from the proximal and distal external environments have provided support for generating mainstreaming initiatives at management levels. In addition to these findings we argue that an additional outcome of this research is to demonstrate the suitability of a relational approach for conceptualizing policy, its interpretation by sport managers and the implementation strategies that follow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2014


  • Integration
  • Mainstreaming
  • Cricket
  • Bourdieu
  • Disability sport


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