Mind the gap: building bridges between public sector exercise programmes and civil society sports associations. An integrative review of the literature

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Governance regimes in sport are changing globally, and welfare states are experiencing the increased pressure of political issues, including the health of their citizens. As seen in the increase in collaborations between public sector exercise, health, and rehabilitation programmes (EHRPs) and voluntary sports associations (VSAs), civil society aids in supporting states with innovative solutions to bridge the gap between the two. A bridge can be built to support post-EHRP adults’ exercise routines in VSA settings to mind the gap; however, evidence is needed to judge the implementation of such collaborations. This integrative review examined how bridge-building relationships between EHRPs and VSAs are organised and implemented and how they influence the exercise routines of adults. We performed a literature search by applying an adapted version of Winter’s integrated implementation model to analyse 27 studies. Our analysis showed an unintended move towards the professionalisation of voluntary instructors as result of close collaboration. Our findings also highlighted that hiring a coordinator enables implementation. On the organisational level of transitions, mandatory visits to VSAs during EHRPs help adults transfer, whilst pleasurable and social relationship-building activities in both settings support adults’ adherence to exercise in their everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal for Sport and Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Implementation, Sports partnerships, Sport for health, Sports policy, Sport clubs

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