2017 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 2_121-2_133
This article presents the results of research designed to explore the coach dispatch programme which was conducted by the committee of the Japan Gymnastics Association to promote men′s rhythmic gymnastics outside Japan. Although men′s rhythmic gymnastics has been developed for over fifty years in Japan, the existence of this sport has been endangered since around 2001, when global success came to be considered essential for every competitive sport. To bring this sport to more athletes and a wider audience, the committee sent top gymnasts to some countries from 2001 to 2006. However, the details of the programme and the reasons why the programme was terminated in 2006 were not publicly recorded. Thus, this article investigates what the representatives accomplished and what problems and future tasks the coaches recognised to identify the structure of the problems that have occurred in the process of the global diffusion of the sport.
Interview data were analysed according to the principles of the SCAT (Steps for Coding and Theorization) Qualitative Data Analysis Method. Results show that the defects were inherent in their organisation and the programme itself, which were recognised by most of the coaches dispatched, such as lack of close consideration before the programme was set out, and the fact that the coaches were supposed to carry out their mission on a fairly low budget and in an unfamiliar culture, mostly without any support from the committee in Japan. Research indicates that the coach dispatch programme was aborted as a result of a combination of those factors. Additionally, this paper argues that further tasks of the programme suggested by the informants are significantly affected by their understandings of the characteristics of this sport and their philosophy of it.