Realist evaluation continues to be advocated for its use within sport and leisure programmes given that there is a greater need to understand how and why programmes work. This chapter explains and then justifies the use of realist evaluation within sport and leisure programmes. It does this by exploring how realist evaluation can be applied to illuminate the context, mechanisms, and outcomes involved in socially complex sport and leisure programmes. The methodology for a realist evaluation is presented to illustrate the cyclical process and explain the use of context, mechanism, and outcomes within its application. The chapter draws upon an evaluation of the Youth Sport Trust (YST) Young Ambassador (YA) programme in Wales, UK, as an example of a realist evaluation that used the Q-method to provide an insight into the subjective viewpoints of the participants. This example of an evaluation within a sport and leisure context helps the reader see how this approach can clarify the inner workings of a programme to then inform future programme development. We reflect upon the application of realist evaluation drawing upon its strengths and weaknesses, alongside future directions.
|Title of host publication||Evaluation in Sport and Leisure|
|Editors||Andrew Adams, Kevin Harris|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Aug 2022|