Understanding Approaches to Evaluation within the Community Sport Social Enterprise

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The increasing number of autonomous third-sector organisations that emerged during a period of austerity (2010-2018) presented a compensatory lifeline for community sport prior to the Covid-19 pandemic (Rossi and Jeanes, 2018). However, there are now increasing concerns that many third sector organisations may struggle to recover from the impact of the pandemic (Grix, 2021). The depletion of public resources has continued to create greater competition for funding within community sport. As a result of this changing financial climate, there has been a requirement for flexible, adaptable and autonomous organisational models that must diversify their income as a necessary strategy for survival. This chapter intends to conceptualise and analyse the role of the social enterprise within this narrative and explain how and why specific organisational typologies may have an impact on shaping evidence and approaches to evaluation within sport and leisure in the future. To do this I examine the emergence of the social enterprise through the lens of community sport in England. First, models of social enterprise in community sport in England are introduced and explored. Second, the chapter examines the value each model might place on evaluation based on key characteristics such as governance and funding related to specific models. Finally, the chapter concludes by presenting critical questions regarding the value and purpose of evaluation within the broader socio-political context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvaluation in Sport and Leisure
EditorsKevin Harris, Andrew Adams
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003000204
ISBN (Print)9780367423704
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2022


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