n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Debriefing - the Cinderella of track and field event management s research - : sports research

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


To most event managers, the event is over when the athletes have left, the media have packed up and the VIP's are escorted out of the stadium. Reflection is often ignored regardless of the essential lessons to be learnt through the debriefing of the event. An event should provide opportunities for learning and assessment through which problems are identified and solutions offered to avoid similar experiences in future. The lack of such reflective learning clearly refers to a lack of knowledge in the pre-planning phase which includes the planning of the closing down of an event as well as the process of debriefing. This article analyses debriefing as one of the most neglected areas in the planning process. A comprehensive literature study on event management applied to track and field event management with the focus on the closing down of an event and debriefing served as point of departure in this paper. As an applied research endeavour, a mixed method approach informed the research within a pragmatic and critical framework. To verify the problems that occurred in the organisational structure, the researcher conducted a grounded theory study by collecting data from media reports, conducting three in-depth personal interviews and a case study analysis of the 2010 USSA Track and Field Championship. The value of debriefing was discussed in terms of the achievement of preplanned objectives and performance indicators. A case is made for the need to emphasise the value of debriefing in planning a successful event.

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