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ERIC Number: EJ1050640
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Reconceptualising Elite Athlete Programmes: "Undoing" the Politics of Labelling in Health and Physical Education
Brown, Seth
Sport, Education and Society, v20 n2 p228-240 2015
High-performance sport is a big business, with nations such as Australia and New Zealand dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of facilities and in creating sporting centres of excellence. Historically, high-performance sport and elite athlete programmes (EAPs) were regulated to an extra-curricular space in schools or local communities, but over the last couple of decades, schools in Australia and New Zealand have introduced EAPs into health and physical education (PE). Recent work has begun to explore the rationale for these programmes and their educational priorities, but little research has explored how the elite athlete body is being constructed within this curriculum space. In this paper, I consider two interrelated problems. The first concerns the conflicting discourses of winning in high-performance sport versus getting everyone healthy and active in health and PE. The second involves an explanation of how the elite athlete body is being constructed in these programmes. I argue the juxtaposition of the elite athlete body as disciplined, attractive and healthy to other bodies as lazy, unattractive and unhealthy renders the other bodies as pathological or resistant to disciplinary institutions of the school. In particular, I focus on the ways in which young people's bodies are conceptualised within EAPs in relation to recreation, health, PE and other curriculum spaces. Throughout this paper, I provide examples to illustrate how EAPs may perpetuate normative ways of thinking that legitimatise elitism in schools. I propose that under radical reform, EAPs may have the potential to provide educational value and opportunities to students. I conclude by offering the cultural studies curriculum model that retains sport and desirable educational outcomes for health and PE as an alternative to elite athlete or talent development models.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand