Professionalization of the Finnish voluntary sports sector : case study of the Tennis Club of Jyväskylä 1993-2016
Professionalization of sports is an on-going phenomenon. Voluntary sports clubs have been based on the values of amateurism. Recently, the trend of professionalization has had effects on the voluntary sports sector. The main aim of the thesis is to explore, describe, understand, and highlight the development, changes, and challenges of the Tennis Club of Jyväskylä (JTS) while moving towards professionalism from 1993 to 2016. At the end, the goal of the study is to enhance our understanding of the voluntary sports club´s operational environment. Qualitative research method, a case study, was used in this study. The data of the study was collected through semi-structured interviews with five interviewees. Interviewees represent the club´s management from the whole study period starting from 1993. Archive materials, financial sheets and annual reports, of the club were also utilized in order to get a comprehensive outline of the research topic. Results of the study indicate clear changes and developments of the Tennis Club of Jyväskylä. Developments and signs of professionalism occurred especially through changed mentality, human resources, and operational environment. The results show that 1993-2002 was the time of amateurism and after that the club clearly moved towards professionalism. The change started in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the management of the club stated their willingness to move towards more professionalized activities. After that the club has put efforts in human resources and they managed to hire their first full-time employee in 2009. Also, the club has made improvements on training facilities since 2005 in a close cooperation with a limited company, the Kiinteistö Oy Killerin Tenniskeskus. At the end, the interviewees of the study highlighted that they see the future of the club bright and positive, and they believed that the positive development trend will continue. In the future, the researchers should continue to explore the Finnish voluntary sports sector from the sports club´s perspective. The sector has leaned on the values of amateurism but obviously there are signs of professionalism as well. Since this study focuses on the management perspective, it would also be important to study the Tennis Club of Jyväskylä from different perspectives. Also, it would be beneficial to explore the Finnish Tennis Association in order to understand what is the mindset of the federation. ...
Alternative titleCase study of the Tennis Club of Jyväskylä 1993-2016
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