Exploring the development and impact of an Olympic wrestling sport program in Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi (Miawpukek First Nation): A case study

Silvey, Dustin (2019) Exploring the development and impact of an Olympic wrestling sport program in Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi (Miawpukek First Nation): A case study. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Physical activity has been shown to increase the physical and mental health of youth. Many rural and Indigenous communities offer sport programs. However, many of these sports are not highly accessible to youth for reasons such as social standing, gender, genetics, and physical fitness levels. The sport of Olympic wrestling if implemented correctly can be accessible to participants and could offer Indigenous youth another, more accessible option of physical activity. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of developing and implementing an Olympic wrestling program with Indigenous youth. Working within a Community Based Participatory Research framework and the Indigenous School Health framework, the first part of this thesis examines the needs of the Indigenous community in question and determines how the Olympic wrestling program should be developed and implemented. Following the needs assessment, the program was developed, implemented, and evaluated and the results showed that some youth gained significant changes in their physical and mental health. The program was further evaluated by some of participating youth through the use of photovoice, which showed increases in youth self-perception and self-esteem. Lastly, the changes in youths’ holistic health were determined to have improved after competing with a team of other Indigenous youth at a major competition. The Olympic wrestling program continues in the community with little help from the researcher and is showing a strong likelihood of being offered for the foreseeable future. Thus, this thesis demonstrates that by first creating a relationship built upon reciprocity, respect, and relationality, between implementers and an Indigenous community, in which the researcher is a resource and conduit to be used by the community, a highly accessible sport program such as Olympic wrestling, may have a positive impact on Indigenous youths’ physical and mental health.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14077
Item ID: 14077
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 236-271).
Keywords: Sport, Indigenous, Wrestling, Physical Health, Mental Health
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission

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