Exploring Structure and Culture in the Lived Acculturation Experiences of Newcomer Varsity Athletes in Manitoba

Craig Brown 1 * , Leisha Strachan 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp. 133-147

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With the growth of immigration in the Canadian context, newcomer athlete acculturation has grown in importance, with implications for everyone involved in the host culture sporting context. The purpose of this project was to increase our collective understanding of newcomer athlete acculturation in Canada by exploring the transition and settlement experiences of seven newcomer varsity athletes in Manitoba. The guiding question for this study was: What are the acculturation experiences of newcomer varsity athletes in Manitoba? An interpretive thematic analysis of the data resulted in themes highlighting particular social elements of Manitoban culture (e.g., tight-knit pre-existing social groups), mental health and resilience, and interactions with host culture systems as key elements in how the newcomer varsity athletes experienced acculturation. Such articulations support perspectives calling for further examination of the roles of structure, mental health and general wellness, and the influence of host and home context culture in understanding newcomer athlete acculturation.

Keywords: acculturation, culture, mental health, newcomer varsity athletes, structure.