Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health and Society


Sports clubs and organisations are settings being recently explored for their potential to create environments that promote health and wellbeing. This follows decades of health-related policy and practice implementation in settings such as schools, workplaces, towns and cities. The research presented in this thesis investigated the application of health promotion and organisational change principles tothe culture and environments of gymnastics organisations at a local and state level within New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The research also explored facilitators for and barriers to health promoting gymnastics settings within participating organisations.

The research comprised two phases. Formative research provided an understanding of the organisational, cultural and environmental contexts of the state sporting organisation for gymnastics in NSW (Gymnastics NSW)and a sample of clubs (n = 6) from one region of the state. Subsequent implementation and evaluation of the Health Promoting Gymnastics Clubs Program (an organisational change, capacity-building intervention)within Gymnastics NSW and gymnastics clubs(n = 5)informed the feasibility of creating health-promoting gymnastics organisations. The research utilised a mixed-methods, multiple-case study design to explore: the existing organisational environment and culture of gymnastics; the impact of organisational change strategies on environmental and cultural characteristics; and perceived facilitators and barriers to the organisational change process within participating settings. Data were collected through document and website analyses, individual interviews(formative: n = 19; post-intervention: n = 7), questionnaires and a focus group.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.