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ERIC Number: EJ1023805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1837-7122
After the Whistle: Issues Impacting on the Health and Wellbeing of Polynesian Players off the Field
Rodriguez, Lena; McDonald, Brent
Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, v4 n3 p201-215 2013
In Australia and New Zealand recognition of Polynesians is almost exclusively defined by their physicality. Sought after for size and strength on the sporting field, excellence in sport is arguably regarded as a life goal in itself. This paper will examine how this situation arose and the implications for Polynesians living in Australia. For a working-class community struggling with rapidly diminishing job opportunities and a high cost of living, sport is increasingly regarded as the only avenue out of poverty. With comparatively low rates of educational achievement keeping many in "blue collar" jobs, there are consequences for health and health literacy, particularly with regard to obesity-related illness and premature mortality from otherwise preventable diseases. This paper will discuss the findings of two studies: an ethnographic project exploring the rugby life histories of 15 Polynesian men in Melbourne and qualitative interviews with 67 Polynesians in Sydney and the Hunter region about their perceptions of health and lifestyle. It will argue success in sport is inextricably bound up with cultural pride and identity. The sporting domain therefore has the potential to allow a migrant minority a "voice" in other areas of civic engagement. In this way, rather than a sporting career coming at the expense of an education, participation and achievement in sport should provide a background to improving culturally targetted programs around improving outcomes in education and health awareness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A