Journal Details
First Published
31 Dec 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

“We can’t get stuck in old ways”: Swedish sports club’s integration efforts with children and youth in migration

Published Online: 01 Oct 2021
Page range: -
Received: 02 Sep 2020
Accepted: 06 Sep 2021
Journal Details
First Published
31 Dec 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The last years many people have been forcibly displaced due to circumstances such as conflicts in the world, and many people have come to Sweden for shelter. It has been challenging for Swedish society to receive and guide newcomers through the resettlement process, and many organizations in civil society, such as sports clubs, have been invited to support the resettlement. However, a limited numbers of studies has drawn the attention to sports clubs experiences. Therefore the aim of the paper was enhance understanding of sports clubs’ prerequesites and experiences of integration efforts with immigrant children and youth. Ten Swedish clubs with experience of working with newcomers participated. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Two categories were identified: Struggling with sporting values and organization and Seeing integration in everyday activities. The clubs experienced that integration occurs in everyday activities, but current ideas focusing competition and rigid organization of sports constrained possibilities for integrating newcomers with no or limited former experience of club sports. The clubs experienced potential to contribute to personal development, social connectedness and enjoyment in a new society and building bridges between cultures. In conclusion, clubs cannot solve the challenges of resettlement in society but have potential to be part of larger societal networks of integration.


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