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Sarah ShanleySara Shanley

Sara joined the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club as the Soccer for Success Program Director in the summer of 2012. In her role, she oversees nearly 80 coaches and coordinates organized sports-based youth development programming for 1200 children.
Prior to this, Sara served as a Programs Fellow with the U.S. Soccer Foundation where she was involved in updating the Soccer for Success curriculum, monitoring and evaluating the program and organizing the 2012 Urban Soccer Symposium.
Sara received her M.A. in International Studies from American University where she studied the effect of sport on girls’ self-efficacy in Kenya



Contact and Collision Sports and Self-Efficacy in Nairobi, Kenya

This paper seeks to explore the way in which sports can complement the weaknesses of current female empowerment interventions in Kenya such as education, micro-finance, the women’s movement and the restructuring of the constitution. While these interventions have had some successes in empowering women, they are limited by patriarchal norms, quality of education and lack of jobs. This study uses a survey methodology to measure the relationship between female youth’s participation in contact, low-level collision and high-level collision sports and the athlete’s self-efficacy, which is how I operationalize female empowerment. I surveyed 13 to 18 year old female soccer players, rugby players and boxers in Nairobi and then created a numerical scale in order to determine which sport provided the greatest contribution to the four sources of self-efficacy: verbal persuasion, mastery, modeling experience and physiological state. Rugby players scored the highest followed by soccer players and boxers. The scores of the athletes and an analysis of the themes in their surveys suggest that participation in collision sports has the potential to complement other female empowerment interventions by targeting male and female youth who are still being socialized and by posing a greater and more direct challenge to normative patriarchal beliefs. 
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