IMPACT: Youth leadership Development in the Running & Reading Club

Start2Finish programs has had the opportunity of being reviewed by brilliant researchers. With our 50 Clubs anniversary, we want to share some of these fantastic studies with all of you to show the impact S2F is having in communities across Canada!

Researchers have asserted that offering intentional leadership roles to youth can help them to develop life skills (e.g., communication, decision-making); however, few physical-activity-based positive youth development programs provide youth these intentional leadership roles, and little research has explored the impact of these opportunities on youth who take them up. The purpose of this study was to understand the developmental experiences of youth leaders in a physical-activity-based positive youth development program. Sixteen youth leaders from 4 clubs of the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club participated in semi- interviews to discuss their experiences as junior coaches.

Fertman and van Linden’s (1999) model of youth leadership development were used to guide data collection and analysis. Through deductive-inductive thematic analysis, 3 themes were constructed:

  • Awareness: developing into leaders started with seeing potential through role models,

  • Interaction: learning by doing and interacting with others helped youth to practice leadership abilities, and

  • Mastery: taking on greater responsibility allowed for opportunities to refine leadership abilities and develop a variety of life skills.

These themes helped to bring an understanding of the processes involved in leadership and life-skill development. Practical and research implications are discussed regarding leveraging youth leadership opportunities in youth programming.

The conclusion of the study was that it helped to understand leadership development as a process in which leaders gain awareness and competencies by modelling themselves after other leaders and through practicing leadership-related tasks. By having youth take on meaningful leadership roles, they can develop a broad set of skills and identify as leaders both within and beyond the program context.

To view the study by Majidullah Shaikh, Corliss Bean, & Tanya Forneris, click below

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out