Children's high participation in organised sport in Australia makes sport an ideal setting for health promotion. This study aimed to generate consensus on priority health promotion objectives for community sports clubs, based on informed expert judgements.
Delphi survey using three structured questionnaires.
Forty-six health promotion, nutrition, physical activity and sport management/delivery professionals were approached to participate in the survey. Questionnaires used an iterative process to determine aspects of sports clubs deemed necessary for developing healthy sporting environments for children. Initially, participants were provided with a list of potential standards for a range of health promotion areas and asked to rate standards based on their importance and feasibility, and any barriers to implementation. Subsequently, participants were provided with information that summarised ratings for each standard to indicate convergence of the group, and asked to review and potentially revise their responses where they diverged. In a third round, participants ranked confirmed standards by priority.
26 professionals completed round 1, 21 completed round 2, and 18 completed round 3. The highest ranked standards related to responsible alcohol practices, availability of healthy food and drinks at sports canteens, smoke-free club facilities, restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol during junior sporting activities, and restricting unhealthy food and beverage company sponsorship.
Identifying and prioritising health promotion areas that are relevant to children's sports clubs assists in focusing public health efforts and may guide future engagement of sports clubs. Approaches for providing informational and financial support to clubs to operationalise these standards are proposed.