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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Volunteers' sense of (Dis)connection at a Sport Event

Owen, Steven and Chambers, Donna (2021) Volunteers' sense of (Dis)connection at a Sport Event. Leisure Sciences. ISSN 0149-0400

Item Type: Article


This paper explores volunteers’ sense of (dis)connection and belonging at a major peripatetic sport event. Utilizing qualitative in-depth interviews with 31 volunteers at the Tall Ships race held in Sunderland in 2018, we sought to understand their lived experiences of this event 18 months after it was held. We argue that the Turnerian concepts of liminality and communitas, can be used to comprehend these lived experiences but require more critical problematization in their application. Our contention is that volunteers demonstrate intricate (dis)connections with a range of people, with place, and with the event itself and thus communitas should be conceptualized as more complex and paradoxical when applied within the context of liminal event spaces. We further suggest that volunteers’ sense of belonging to place influences how they experience liminal event spaces at least in the medium term. Space and place are therefore intimately connected in the lived experiences of volunteers.

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Depositing User: Donna Chambers


Item ID: 13466
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0149-0400
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Donna Chambers: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 10 May 2021 10:41
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2022 03:38


Author: Donna Chambers ORCID iD
Author: Steven Owen

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism


Tourism > Tourism

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