A qualitative examination of the impact of microgrants to promote physical activity among adolescents

Katherine A. Tamminen, Guy Faulkner, Chad S. G. Witcher, John C. Spence

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Background - Microgrants are a mechanism for providing funding to community organizations or groups to support health initiatives. Little research to date has examined the use of microgrants in promoting physical activity (PA), and no studies have explored how microgrants may support PA promotion among adolescents. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of microgrants in enhancing PA opportunities for Canadian adolescents.

Methods - Employing a case study approach, nine community organizations from across Canada were selected as cases providing sports and physical activities with the support of microgrant funding. Researchers visited each organization and conducted semi-structured interviews with 40 program participants (12–25 years of age, M = 16.3, SD = 2.6) and 17 adult organizers/instructors (23–57 years of age, M = 37.4, SD = 10.0). Interview transcripts were inductively and deductively coded to identify concepts and create a hierarchy of themes.

Results - Analysis produced themes regarding participants’ perceptions of the Funding, Running Programs and Events, the Impact of Program (for the Organization, Teen Participants, and the Community). Opportunities for PA programming would not have been possible without the microgrant funding. Microgrant funding was valuable in promoting PA for adolescents, and they afforded opportunities for adolescents to engage in new and/or nontraditional activities. In addition to promoting PA, the microgrants had benefits for participants and the community organizations including improved organizational capacity.

Conclusions - Microgrants appear to be an effective mechanism for enhancing community capacity to provide PA opportunities for Canadian adolescents by helping to reduce financial barriers and empowering adolescents to take an active role in identifying and hosting new and creative PA events within their communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1206
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • microgrants
  • case study
  • adolescent
  • physical activity
  • sport
  • qualitative


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