Information Statement

Thank you for expressing interest in this study. If you have any questions regarding this study, the researchers may be contacted at:
Dr Chelsea Litchfield, Professor Rylee Dionigi and Dr Jackey Osborne - School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health,
Charles Sturt University.
clitchfield@csu.edu.au; rdionigi@csu.edu.au; josborne@csu.edu.au
Ph: 02 63384481; 02 6582 9316; 02 6338 4985.
                                  
Invitation: If you reside in regional or rural NSW, you are invited to participate in this study. Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully.
If you would like to request the full information statement, please contact clitchfield@csu.edu.au.

This research will investigate the experiences and perspectives of individuals who would normally be participating in sports (or in the production of sports as coaches, referees or supporters) and/or viewing sport during the period of enforced social isolation in 2020.

We are seeking a diverse range of individuals who might normally be involved in a sport or sporting club or are active viewers of sporting events. Therefore, we extend the invitation to be involved in this study to a broad range of individuals and cohorts.

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete the 30 min survey. The survey will include questions about age, background, marital status, education, employment, etc., as well as details relating to your experiences participating or viewing sport. 

Informed consent
 - Participants completing the survey will not need to complete a separate consent form. It is understood that the participant is consenting to involvement in the project by completing the survey. The primary benefit of the current research project is that it will allow individuals to share their experiences about how COVID-19 social distancing rules have affected them personally in relation to participation in sports and/or sporting clubs and/or their regular viewing of sports in person or via television.

The researchers do not anticipate any major burdens or risks to the participants. However, it is possible that in sharing personal information during the survey, participants may experience discomfort or an invasion of privacy or may experience the memory of personal loss or hardship that occurred during the COVID-19 social distancing period. Of course, participation in this study is voluntary, and participants have the right to withdraw at any time while completing the survey without adverse consequences to themselves. Additionally, participants may choose not to respond to specific questions. In the event that you experience discomfort from completing the survey, relevant support services will be available to participants. Distressed participants will be encouraged to contact their doctor or call mental health services such as Beyond Blue (ph. 1300 224 636), Lifeline Australia (ph. 131114) or NSW Mental Health Line: (ph. 1800 011 511).
 
Charles Sturt’s Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project (Approval no. H20144). If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Ethics and Compliance Unit via the following contact details:
The Governance Officer, Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics and Compliance Unit, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga NSW 2678. Ph: (02) 6933 4213; Email: ethics@csu.edu.au

Thank you for considering this invitation.

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* 1. What is your current age?

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* 2. Where are you currently located?

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* 3. How would you best describe your gender?

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* 4. How would you best describe your marital status?

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* 5. How would you best describe your employment status?

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* 6. How would you best describe your education level?

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* 7. How would you best describe your sexual orientation?

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* 8. How would you best describe your family circumstances?

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* 9. How would you best describe your cultural background?

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* 10. Have you always lived in regional NSW? If not, where did you previously reside?

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* 11. How did you first become involved with sport (playing or otherwise)? At what age was this? What other sports did you play as a child?

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* 12. Can you describe how you have been involved in sport throughout your life? (This might include playing sport, coaching sport, a sporting club member, sports fan, regular sports spectator, etc.)

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* 13. Can you describe your current (usual) involvement with sport in general? Please list any sporting clubs of which you are a member or any sporting activities that you undertake (this might include roles such as a coach, trainer, administrator, etc.) and how often you engage in sporting related activities.

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* 14. What level of competition do you regularly participate in in sport (as either a player or coach, trainer or administrator)?

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* 15. How regularly do you/did you watch a sporting match or sports event (either in person or on television/through online media)?

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* 16. Do you/did you normally socialise with individuals from your sporting team/sporting club? What does/did this socialisation involve and how regularly would you socialise?

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* 17. Can you explain some of the benefits that you gain/gained from the social connections you make through sport?

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* 18. What size groups of people would you/did you normally socialise with through your sports-related involvement? 

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* 19. In what ways do you/did you watch sports and sporting events?

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* 20. Do you/did you normally view sport in a social situation? (i.e., Do you/did you regularly view sports by yourself or with others? – this may be in your home, a social club or pub, or at the game)

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* 21. In what way was/is your sporting participation and/or sport viewing affected by the COVID-19 social distancing rules? (i.e., participating in sport or viewing sport)

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* 22. In what ways did/does social distancing during COVID-19 affect your connection with your sporting team/s, teammates and/or social connections relating to sports viewing?

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* 23. What other activities did you engage in when/if you could not participate in or view sport?

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* 24. Were alternative arrangements made so that you could continue engaging with your sport? (i.e., did/do you have a home program to do? Did/do you create news ways to play sport in isolation?)

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* 25. In what ways (if any) did/do you connect with your sporting and/or local community during the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions (e.g., regular online meetings with your team? Communal training online, through Zoom or similar?)?

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* 26. What level of connectedness (if applicable) do/did you feel with your teammates or fellow athletes or fellow sports fans during the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions?

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* 27. Did/do you find new ways to engage with sport or fellow sport enthusiasts?

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* 28. If you felt/feel disconnected from your teammates and fellow athletes or sports fans during the social distancing restriction, can you please explain why you think you felt/feel this? 

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* 29. What has this ‘pause’ from sports involvement and/or sports viewing made you realise about the meaning of sports in your life and/or your community? 

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* 30. Is there anything else you would like to add?

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