There are several ways to look at the relationship between social capital and sport. While participation in sport can be seen as a vehicle of social capital accumulation, social capital arising from social relationships within a sporting system can be seen as a factor contributing to the technical development of players. This paper is based on largely qualitative empirical research undertaken in South Australia between 2007 and 2009 to understand how social capital may influence the passage of players from the bottom to the top levels of the South Australian women's football system. Social capital, defined as the ability of individuals and groups to gain resources by means of membership in social networks, can both foster and/or undermine the development of players. In particular, it can affect the ability of players to ‘take the next step’ in their sporting careers by favouring or hindering access to resources including coaching knowledge, mentorship, and moral support.
|Keywords:||Social Capital, ‘Achievement’ Sport, Players’ Production, Women’s Football (Soccer), South Australia|
PhD Candidate, School of Geography, Population and Environmental Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia