The Perceived Impact of Sport and Physical Activity Programmes: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Gym Orderlies in a UK Women's Prison

Melissa De Marco, Rosie Meek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Studies with male prisoner populations are increasingly demonstrating the benefits of sports participation within prisons. However, research on incarcerated women's experiences has been lacking, despite the potential for physical activity to support well-being and offer a rehabilitative pathway. This chapter presents the experiences of women with prison-based sports provision through the analysis of focus group data from three ‘gym orderly’ female prisoners. Through an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, the chapter explores how women experience physical activity as a tool to manage mental and physical well-being, as well as provide additional benefits. However, the chapter also highlights that despite these benefits, the scope of current sports provision in engaging incarcerated women is limited with a need to better integrate sports qualifications in women's prisons that offer tangible routes into education and/or employment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport, Physical Activity and Criminal Justice
EditorsHaydn Morgan, Andrew Parker
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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