Chapter 11: Global families in sport: the case of the international yachting fraternity
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Globalisation of professional sport has stimulated scholarly focus on the expatriate athlete. However, research has fundamentally failed to consider the impact of global sporting careers on the partners and children of professional athletes. The growing frequency with which professional sports men and women are globally mobile highlights the need for sporting organizations to understand all aspects of the phenomenon. This chapter presents data from a qualitative study of global families in sports. I use three cases from the international yachting fraternity, representing three families at different life stages, as vignettes to explicate and examine their experiences. The aim of the chapter is to understand whether it is possible for families to achieve a sustainable work-life balance between the challenges of global sporting careers and the opportunities afforded by the international life style. The chapter provides suggestions for how sporting organizations can support athletes’ families while continuing to foster competitive success. It concludes with suggestions for future research, including the potential to develop theory by applying existing frames of reference to the global sporting audience.

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