3 Minute Thesis (by Adam Goodwin)

3 Minute Thesis

by Adam Goodwin | 2016 | Last Updated: April 3, 2016

Background

I recently participated in the University of Windsor’s 3 Minute Thesis. The 3 Minute Thesis was started in Australia to help graduate students learn how to communicate their research to a general audience (pretty difficult!). In this blog post, I have included a copy of my presentation’s speech, and a copy of the winner’s speech.

Copy of my Presentation’s Speech

Check against delivery

Imagine this scenario.

We all entered through that door to come here this afternoon.

But, picture this. As you were entering, there was a guard at the door.

For every three people that tried to enter, he let 2 in.

But for that one, they were not allowed to participate today based purely on the income of their parents.

And that’s part of the analogy for my Master’s thesis.

Depending on the exact country or city in the world you look at, what we know is that approximately two-thirds of kids are able to participate in basically any physical activity program or sport they are interested in but that leaves the one-third, or the 1 child left outside of the room, that could not participate because of his or her family’s socioeconomic circumstances.

And this is where most of the research in this area has focused so far.

Researchers understand how program’s registration fees, equipment costs, and transportation, or lack thereof, act as some of the barriers preventing lower income kids from joining the programs they have an interest in.

Only recently, have researchers started to look at initiatives that are trying to tackle this issue. For example, you may have heard of Ontario’s decision to get rid of its Children’s Activity Tax Credit; in part because researchers found it had no impact in this population.

And so what I wanted to know is what type of impact are other initiatives having?

Across Canada, we counted over 500 organizations that provide financial grants aimed directly at removing some of the financial barriers faced by these families when registering their children in activities. You may have heard of two of them: KidSport and Jumpstart.

But from a research perspective, we don’t know if these grants actually work.

Following one such organization for nearly 10 months, we have collected nearly 500 pages of interview transcripts, field notes, and organizational records.

And from these data, here is the amazing thing. In essence, these 500+ organizations are making a difference with certain segments of families.

Through interviews with families who have received financial grants I believe that these organizations are in fact tackling part of this issue.

And that is the study’s main finding. It is one part of the solution.

From here, we believe that organizations such as KidSport and Jumpstart that provide these financial grants need to work with sport apparel manufacturers, mass transit providers, and other similar organizations to really create a solution that tackles all the barriers these families face.

So as you leave here this afternoon, notice, there was no security guard that stopped you from participating; just, as I hope through my Master’s and then PhD research projects, there will be no barriers stopping lower income kids from participating in the sports they are interested in.

Thank you.

My Result

I finished as a finalist in the UWindsor’s competition (making it through the heats).

The winner of the UWindsor competition recently had his speech broadcast with the CBC. A copy is available by clicking here.

Your Call to Action
What are your thoughts on some of the ideas presented in this blog post? Share your opinion by commenting below or on social media!
Further Reading
Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in: Bucket List: June 2015.
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These are one person’s thoughts and opinions.  We welcome your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with us via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian who has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, who is currently attending one of the world’s best sport management programs at the University of Windsor.  He is a proud introvert and silent leader.  He has traveled to 50 major global cities around the world, and has worked with universities, non-profits, consulting firms, and sport organizations.  He has family and friends around the world.  Follow his travels, work, projects, and thoughts on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog (click on the bottom right-hand corner to sign up for weekly email notifications).
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