Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Sean Doherty

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In response to the rise in popularity of children’s organized sport there is a need to further our understanding of its impacts, both on family-life and on travel demand. Sport participation has become an integral part of raising children, and its typically rigid structure has significant impacts on many aspects of daily life and management. In order to meet the deamnds of a sport lifestyle, families depend on the “family van” as the main mode of transportation; thus increasing recreation travel. This thesis utilized mixed quantitative/qualitative methods to explore the relationship between youth hocky participation, family life and travel demand. In particular, this thesis explores the temporal-spatial and inter-personal dependency of youth participation in organized hockey. To accomplish this, a weeklong web-based activity-travel diary was combined with a face-to-face interview to explore both the observed activity-travel outcomes, and the underlying behavioural process of hockey families, as well as overall perceptions and attitudees of hockey parents and hockey players for incorporating hockey into their family life. Youth boy’s hockey was chosen as an organized sport to study because of its popularity, rigid structure and travel was chosen as an organized sport to study because of its popularityk, rigid structure and travel expectations. A total of 13 families with children in competitive/select hockey (Rep. Hockey) and 11 more recreational “House League” families participated in the study. The strength of this thesis is its breadth of data collected through the web-based activity-travel diary and the face-to-face interview, as well as, the wide range of topics that the thesis discusses including activity-based approach to travel analysis, urbanization, organized sport, family life, auto mobility, and environmental sustainability. Results strongly suggest that considerable planning and scheduling are dedicated to ensure activities which hold a significant value, like family meals, are maintained, but that some leisure and social activiites are sacrificed as a result hockey participation. Hockey commitment necessitates other activities like work be flexible so that the schedule can be carried out. Statements form parents and players support the notion that key life skills are learned by hockey players as a result of hockey participation, including time management and teamwork. In spite of the added deamnds that hockey participation adds to family life, results suggest that all family members enjoy the benefits of a hockey lifestyle. However, from an urban growth perspective, hockey participation may exacerbate automobile dependence, encourage further disparities between families who can afford to enroll their children into organized sports and those who cannot, and often isolates players from their neighbourhood friends.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season