12 Laying the Foundations of Expertise

  • Richard Light
  • John Robert Evans


The stories of all 16 participants suggest that the foundations of expertise were established by around the age of 12. This aligns with the sampling phase (5–12 years) in the Development Model for Sport Participation (DMSP) to support research suggesting that interaction between participation in sport and social life facilitates and shapes the development of expertise in sport across different cultural contexts (see, Berry et al. 2008; Côté et al. 2005) This study offers detailed examples and accounts of how this occurred for Indigenous athletes and how it was profoundly shaped by culture. Their stories collectively suggest the ways in which socio-cultural environments where Aboriginal culture formed a highly significant influence generated distinctly Aboriginal ways of playing rugby league and Australian football (see, Stronach et al. 2016; Hallinan and Judd 2007) that Danny (National Rugby League [NRL]) describes as ‘playing with flair’.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Light
    • 1
  • John Robert Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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