Welcome to PYD SportNET

By Nick Holt, University of Alberta
My research examines various aspects of youth sport. For years I have been frustrated that research is not widely used by the sport community. But I have realized that it rather unfair to expect coaches, parents, or sport administrators to trawl the academic literature and then make sense of the complex studies researchers publish. I decided that we researchers must try to bridge the gap between research and practice by making credible research evidence accessible and easy to understand. This is why PYD SportNET was created.

What is PYD SportNET?
PYD SportNET is designed to link research and practice in the area of youth sport. It is a collaborative enterprise, including researchers from across Canada as well as the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). PYD SportNET will provide information to members of the sport community through online resources and social media. We are part of a ‘network of networks’ that includes SIRC, CCSA, and Project SCORE.

What is Positive Youth Development?
PYD is a strength-based approach that involves equipping children and adolescents with skills and resources that will enable them to thrive. Through sport, it is possible for participants to learn psychological, social, and emotional skills that assist with development. But these benefits are only realized when sport is delivered in the right ways. Click here for an open-access review article summarizing evidence about how to promote PYD through sport.

Why do we need it?
We have done some research with sport organizations that showed they want to use evidence more, but have trouble accessing credible information. We have heard the same thing from parents and coaches. Few people – other than academics – read research articles. PYD SportNET is a way to connect research with people in the sport community.

More About The Project
The PYD SportNET project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The principal applicant is Nick Holt (University of Alberta) and co-applicants are Jessica Fraser-Thomas (York University), Martin Camiré (University of Ottawa), Dany McDonald (University of Prince Edward Island), Leisha Strachan (University of Manitoba), Katherine Tamminen (University of Toronto), and Jean Côté (Queen’s University).

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