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Examining the landscape of environmental sustainability in sport management education

Trendafilova, Sylvia, Graham, Jeffrey and Ziakas, Vassilios (2018) Examining the landscape of environmental sustainability in sport management education. In: Applied Sport Management Association Conference 2018, 15-17 February 2018, Waco, Texas.

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Abstract

Background Sport organizations place considerable importance on environmental sustainability (ES), underlining a movement away from exploiting to protecting the environment (Trendafilova et al., 2013). Correspondingly, higher education has recognized the need to include ES in curricula (Mitchell & Walinga, 2017). It is recommended that coursework develop student skills in problem-solving, assessing environmental impacts, managing environmental change, and providing knowledge regarding sustainable development (Thomas, 2009). However, less is known about ES coursework in sport management. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct an inventory of current ES courses offered in sport management programs. Methods A questionnaire was distributed to the NASSM listserv (approximately 700 subscribers). Questions were aimed at determining if sport management programs provide ES in sport coursework as a stand-alone course or as a module within an existing course. Respondents were also asked to describe any challenges that prevented their program from delivering this content and to discuss the benefits of offering courses/modules focused on ES in sport. Findings Currently 65 responses have been collected, with additional participants being recruited. Preliminary findings indicate that 88% of respondents do not offer a stand-alone ES in sport course. The most common reasons given were a lack of faculty interest (27.02%) and a lack of program resources (22.92%). Respondents gave additional comments, including, “This is not a part of our program’s mission,” “This is not a core discipline of sport management,” and “It seems like a silly idea.” However, 69.64% of respondents reported offering aspects of ES as a module within a parent course. Sport facility management and event management were the top two courses in which ES was embedded. Related to the benefits of offering ES modules and dedicated courses, some comments included, “It is a critical issue … and students gain a deeper understanding of its importance” and “It is important to teach emerging topics like environmental sustainability to student to embrace future trends in the industry.” Implications The sport industry is becoming progressively active in ES. Since sport management students will be working in the industry at various capacities, ES knowledge allows them to serve the industry better. By incorporating discussions of ES into the classroom, students will be challenged to innovate non-traditional ways of delivering sport while caring for the environment. Even programs with limited faculty, resources, or expertise in the area of ES can still weave this topic into existing coursework via course modules. Understanding the relationship between the environment and sport will prepare students to serve an industry that is determined to become a champion in sustainability.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Divisions: Sport
Depositing User: Ms Alice Primmer
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 12:02
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 12:02
URI: http://marjon.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/17217

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