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Sport, Physical Activity and Urban Indigenous Young People

Australian Aboriginal Studies
Issue 2 (2009)

Abstract: This paper challenges some of the commonly held assumptions and 'knowledges' about Indigenous young people and their engagement in physical activity. These include their 'natural' ability, and the use of sport as a panacea for health, education and behavioural issues. Data is presented from qualitative research undertaken with a group of 14 urban Indigenous young people with a view to 'speaking back' to these commentaries. This research draws on Critical Race Theory in order to make visible the taken-for-granted assumptions about Indigenous Australians made by the dominant white, Western culture. Multiple, shifting and complex identities were expressed in the young people's articulation of the place and meaning of sport and physical activity in their lives. They both engaged in, and resisted, dominant Western discourses regarding representations of Indigenous people in sport. The paper gives voice to these young people in an attempt to disrupt and subvert hegemonic discourses.

To cite this article: Nelson, Alison. Sport, Physical Activity and Urban Indigenous Young People [online]. Australian Aboriginal Studies, No. 2, 2009: 101-111. Availability: <;dn=650856353853081;res=IELIND> ISSN: 0729-4352. [cited 14 Oct 15].

Personal Author: Nelson, Alison; Source: Australian Aboriginal Studies, No. 2, 2009: 101-111 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0729-4352 Subject: Australian Football League; Race discrimination; Indigenous youth; Sports--Health aspects; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) The University of Queensland, email:

Database: Indigenous Collection