Factors Influencing University Sport Participation among Rural and Remote First Nations Athletes in Manitoba
Kosmenko, Nickolas John
MetadataShow full item record
This research focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 90(ii): “[a]n elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes” (TRC, 2015, p. 10). Numerous barriers impede Indigenous peoples’ sport participation (e.g., racism, cultural exclusion, few Indigenous coaches, geographic isolation of reserves). University sport programs can be helpful in this regard by providing access to sport resources (e.g., expert coaches, athletic therapists, sport nutritionists, sport psychologists, quality facilities and equipment) yet many obstacles affect university education for Indigenous students (e.g., racism, cultural irrelevance, limited academic direction in communities). Approximately 18% of people in Manitoba identify as Indigenous, suggesting efforts to overcome barriers to university sport/education would be impactful. Using socioecological frameworks and following an Indigenous research paradigm, the overarching focus of this research was to identify factors influencing university sport participation specifically among rural and remote First Nations athletes in Manitoba. Chapter 5 used conversational interviews to gather insights from rural and remote First Nations athletes at the high school level, as well as their coaches and teachers. Similar methods were used in Chapter 6, but with university-level athletes, their coaches, and university athlete alumni. Due to the importance of Indigenous coaches to athletic development of Indigenous athletes, Chapter 7 used conversational interviews to examine the factors influencing Canadian First Nations coaches’ coaching paths. Results of Chapters 5 and 6 highlighted challenges related to opportunity and direction with respect to both sport and education, as well as the importance of exposure to urban environments and high-performance, mainstream/university sport prior to university. Results of Chapter 7 highlighted the importance of relationships along coaches’ career paths, as well as the need for more coaching clinics in rural/remote communities. Collectively, Chapters 5, 6, and 7 can inform academic and sport organizations contributing to the development of First Nations athletes and coaches. Lastly, to raise awareness among graduate students considering work following an Indigenous research paradigm prioritizing relational accountability and reciprocity, as well as among current and potential members of these graduate students’ support networks, Chapter 8 used a fictional autoethnography to examine the challenges I encountered throughout my thesis work.
- FGS - Electronic Theses and Practica 
- Manitoba Heritage Theses