Sweden has become a multicultural society over the course of the last few decades. Around two million of Sweden’s nine million inhabitants have an immigrant background. Sport is a global phenomenon and is, as such, regarded as a tool for integration; however, at the same time sport is closely linked to national identity.
The aim of this study is to enhance understanding of the sports-related experiences and desires of newly-migrated children, and how these can be met in Swedish sports clubs. We have interviewed six children, 10 to 13 years of age, from various countries with different experiences of organised sport. They were all newly-arrived and attended a transition school in a Swedish municipality.
In the phenomenological analysis we discovered four key factors which appeared to be of importance for participation: possessing cultural understanding, possessing social networks, knowing the language and possessing necessary skills.
In the discussion we stress that through awareness, sensitivity and flexibility, sports clubs can approach children from various cultures that have different sport’s needs. In the process of involving newly-migrated children in sports, it might be helpful to take the key factors presented into consideration, and reflect on how they could affect participation.
Malmö högskola , 2016.