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Sport and the Resettlement of Young People from Refugee Backgrounds in Australia

Within recent years, policy makers and practitioners have increasingly drawn on sport as a vehicle to assist with the resettlement of young people from refugee backgrounds. This article presents the views of sport development and resettlement service staff responsible for supporting the participation of young refugees within sport. Our data suggest that while there are a myriad of well-established barriers beyond the sporting context that restrict the participation of young people from refugee backgrounds, there are considerable issues within mainstream sports settings and structures that will continue to reduce the value of sport in the resettlement process. Sports providers continue to attempt to integrate young people from refugee backgrounds into existing mainstream sport structures that may not meet their needs or provide inclusive environments. We outline how sporting practices reflect broader integration/resettlement policy rhetoric and suggest problematizing the structure and culture of sport is essential if it is to be of value in resettlement work.