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Diversification of WAG (Women's Artistic Gymnastics) since the fall of Communism

Diversification of WAG (Women's Artistic Gymnastics) since the fall of Communism

Barker-Ruchti, Natalie, Booth, Elizabeth, Cavallerio, Francesca, Dimitriu, Diana, Cervin, Georgia, Nunomura, Mirian and Smits, Froukje (2020) Diversification of WAG (Women's Artistic Gymnastics) since the fall of Communism. In: Kerr, Roslyn, Barker-Ruchti, Natalie, Stewart, Carly and Kerr, Gretchen, (eds.) Women's Artistic Gymnastics : Socio-Cultural Perspectives. Sports and Leisure . Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 51-64. ISBN 9780367440015 (doi:

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This chapter examines the development of WAG systems since the fall of Communism in 1989. Drawing on Robertson’s (1994; 1995) glocalisation theory, we examine how six case countries – Australia, Brazil, Italy, Romania, Russia, and The Netherlands – developed in relation to the global context of state-managed (Communist) WAG system thinking and local conditions and events. Our results show that Romanian and Russian WAG was significantly interrupted by the fall of Communism and today still need to recover to re-invent and stabilise their systems. Australia was earliest and has most prominently invested in elite WAG through the national government’s implementation of a state-managed elite sport. Their system and performance success has, however, experienced challenges that have caused a number of changes. Brazil, Italy, and The Netherlands have not benefitted from extensive national elite sport systems, and their governing bodies have less consistently invested in WAG. Italy and The Netherlands have, however, adopted creative measures to develop WAG, particularly through popularisation activities. Italy stands out as an example of most effective local sustainable development, having achieved performance success, acquired funds for their elite operations, and importantly, not suffered allegations of abuse. In combination, the decline of Communist WAG and growth of Western successes has de-centred the East and diversified this sport’s competitive landscape.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sports; women's artistic gymnastics; diversification of sports; glocalisation; socio-cultural perspectives of sport
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Q Science > QP Physiology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2021 13:34

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