Introducing Realist Evaluation within Sport and Leisure: A Realist Evaluation Case Study of the Youth Sport Trust Young Ambassador Programme

Louis Ryan, Kev Harris, Steven Henderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvaluation in Sport and Leisure
EditorsAndrew Adams, Kevin Harris
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003000204
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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