• Assessment of energy availability and associated risk factors in professional female soccer players

      Moss, Samantha; Randell, Rebecca; Burgess, Darren; Ridley, Stephanie; Ó Cairealláin, Cairbre; Allison, Richard; Rollo, Ian; University of Chester; Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Arsenal Football Club, Tipperary GAA, Melbourne Football Club (Taylor & Francis, 2020-08-06)
      This study aimed to assess energy availability (EA), alongside possible risk factors of reduced or low EA of professional female soccer players during a competitive season. Thirteen players (age: 23.7 ± 3.4 y, stature: 1.69 ± 0.08 m, body mass: 63.7 ± 7.0 kg) engaged in a 5-day (two rest days, one light training, heavy training and match day) monitoring period. Energy intake (EI) and expenditure during exercise (EEE) were measured. EA was calculated and categorised as optimal, reduced or low (≥45, 31-44, ≤30 kcal·kg FFM-1·day-1, respectively). Relationships between EA and bone mineral density, resting metabolic rate (RMR), plasma micronutrient status, biochemical markers and survey data were assessed. EA was optimal for 15%, reduced for 62% and low for 23% of players. Higher EA was observed on rest days compared to others (P<0.05). EA was higher for the light compared to the heavy training day (P<0.001). EEE differed significantly between days (P<0.05). EI (2124 ± 444 kcal), carbohydrate (3.31 ± 0.64 g·kg·day-1) and protein (1.83 ± 0.41 g·kg·day-1) intake remained similar (P>0.05). Survey data revealed 23% scored ≥ 8 on the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire and met criteria for low RMR (ratio <0.90). Relationships between EA and risk factors were inconclusive. Most players displayed reduced EA and did not alter EI or carbohydrate intake to training or match demands. Although cases of low EA were identified, further work is needed to investigate possible long-term effects and risk factors of low and reduced EA separately to inform player recommendations.
    • Biomechanical measures of short-term maximal cycling on an ergometer: a test-retest study

      Burnie, Louise; Barratt, Paul; Davids, Keith; Worsfold, Paul; Wheat, Jon; Swansea University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Chester, English Institute of Sport, Team INEOS, Manchester, UK
      An understanding of test-retest reliability is important for biomechanists, such as when assessing the longitudinal effect of training or equipment interventions. Our aim was to quantify the test-retest reliability of biomechanical variables measured during short-term maximal cycling. Fourteen track sprint cyclists performed 3 x 4 s seated sprints at 135 rpm on an isokinetic ergometer, repeating the session 7.6 ± 2.5 days later. Joint moments were calculated via inverse dynamics, using pedal forces and limb kinematics. EMG activity was measured for 9 lower limb muscles. Reliability was explored by quantifying systematic and random differences within- and between-session. Within-session reliability was better than between-sessions reliability. The test-retest reliability level was typically moderate to excellent for the biomechanical variables that describe maximal cycling. However, some variables, such as peak knee flexion moment and maximum hip joint power, demonstrated lower reliability, indicating that care needs to be taken when using these variables to evaluate biomechanical changes. Although measurement error (instrumentation error, anatomical marker misplacement, soft tissue artefacts) can explain some of our reliability observations, we speculate that biological variability may also be a contributor to the lower repeatability observed in several variables including ineffective crank force, ankle kinematics and hamstring muscles’ activation patterns.
    • Changes in locomotive rates during senior elite rugby league matches

      Sykes, Dave; Twist, Craig; Nicholas, Ceri; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2011-08-05)
      The aim of this study was to quantify the changes in locomotive rates across the duration of senior elite rugby league matches.
    • Changing patterns of drug use in British sport from the 1960s

      Waddington, Ivan; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2005)
      The objective of this paper is systematically to examine evidence relating to the prevalence and the changing patterns of drug use in British sport in the period from the 1960s to the present. There are four major sources of information about the prevalence of drug use among athletes: investigative journalism, including the writings and testimonials of athletes and others involved in sport; formal investigations, which may have legal or quasi-legal powers; surveys; and results from drug testing. The methodological problems associated with these sources of data are discussed. It is concluded that the data suggest that since the 1960s there has been a substantial increase in the use of performance-enhancing drugs by British athletes. More particularly the data suggest that, in athletics, the use of drugs has spread from the heavy throwing events to many other track and field events, and that it has spread from athletics and weightlifting - the sports in which drugs were most frequently used in the 1960s - to many other sports. The use of performance-enhancing drugs has also spread down from the elite to much lower levels, while the use of drugs is now widespread among non-competitive recreational athletes in other sport-related contexts such as gymnasiums.
    • Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Atencio, Matthew; Verheul, Martine; University of Chester; California State University; The University of Edinburgh (Taylor & Francis, 2015-11-20)
      This paper reports on one aspect of a study that investigated the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschool settings in Scotland. We employed a poststructural type of discourse analysis to examine the developmental discourses the 14 participating practitioners drew on when talking about ‘physical education’ at preschools, during semi-structured interviews. Three main discourses around the notion of developmentalism were identified during analysis of the adults’ interview data: (1) preschool children learn and develop through play; (2) preschool children should have choices and freedom; and (3) sometimes more structured activities are needed. The practitioners were heavily invested in developmental ‘truths’ about how preschool children learn and develop. They were in agreement that play is a vital element of preschool education, and that, consequently, children should be provided with opportunities for exploration and making choices. However, they also talked about sometimes ‘needing’ to restrict children’s freedom and provide more adult-led activities. Our findings illustrate the strength of developmental discourses at the three settings. We suggest that preschool practitioners, as well as policy-makers and researchers, should critically reflect on the effects of taken-for-granted developmental discourses, and move beyond thinking in terms of binaries such as ‘physical education versus play’ or ‘structure versus freedom’.
    • The development of a reliable amateur boxing performance analysis template

      Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2012-11-02)
      The aim of this study was to devise a valid performance analysis system for the assessment of the movement characteristics associated with competitive amateur boxing and assess its reliability using analysts of varying experience of the sport and performance analysis. Key performance indicators to characterise the demands of an amateur contest (offensive, defensive and feinting) were developed and notated using a computerised notational analysis system. Data were subjected to intra- and inter-observer reliability assessment using median sign tests and calculating the proportion of agreement within predetermined limits of error. For all performance indicators, intra-observer reliability revealed non-significant differences between observations (P > 0.05) and high agreement was established (80-100%) regardless of whether exact or the reference value of ±1 was applied. Inter-observer reliability was less impressive for both analysts (amateur boxer and experienced analyst), with the proportion of agreement ranging from 33-100%. Nonetheless, there was no systematic bias between observations for any indicator (P > 0.05), and the proportion of agreement within the reference range (±1) was 100%. A reliable performance analysis template has been developed for the assessment of amateur boxing performance and is available for use by researchers, coaches and athletes to classify and quantify the movement characteristics of amateur boxing.
    • Effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on resting metabolic rate, sub-maximal running and post-exercise oxygen consumption

      Burt, Dean G.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; Twist, Craig; Staffordshire University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2013-04-08)
      Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), described as the acute weakness of the musculature after unaccustomed eccentric exercise, increases oxidative metabolism at rest and during endurance exercise. However, it is not known whether oxygen uptake during recovery from endurance exercise is increased when experiencing symptoms of EIMD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of EIMD on physiological and metabolic responses before, during and after sub-maximal running. After a 12 h fast, eight healthy male participants completed baseline measurements comprising resting metabolic rate (RMR), indirect markers of EIMD, 10 min of sub-maximal running and 30 min of recovery to ascertain excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Measurements were then repeated at 24 and 48 h after 100 Smith-machine squats. Data analysis revealed significant (PB0.05) increases in muscle soreness and creatine kinase (CK) and decreases in peak knee extensor torque at 24 and 48 h after squatting exercise. Moreover, RMR, physiological, metabolic and perceptual responses during sub-maximal running and EPOC were increased in the two days after squatting exercise (PB0.05). It is suggested that the elevated RMR was a consequence of a raised energy requirement for the degradation and resynthesis of damaged muscle fibres. The increased oxygen demand during sub-maximal running after muscle damage was responsible for the increase in EPOC. Individuals engaging in unaccustomed resistance exercise that results in muscle damage should be mindful of the increases in resting energy expenditure and increased metabolic demand to exercise in the days that follow.
    • An examination of a modified Yo-Yo test to measure intermittent running performance in rugby players

      Dobbin, Nick; Moss, Samantha; Highton, Jamie M.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-06-17)
      This study examined how starting each shuttle in the prone position altered the internal, external and perceptual responses to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1. Using a randomized crossover design, 17 male rugby players completed the Yo-Yo IR1 and prone Yo-Yo IR1 on two separate occasions. External loads (via microtechnology), V ̇O2, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured at 160, 280 and 440 m (sub-maximal) and when the test was terminated (peak). The pre-to-post change in blood lactate concentration (∆[La]b) was determined for both tests. All data were analysed using effect sizes and magnitude-based inferences. Between-trial differences (ES  90%CL) indicated total distance was most likely lower (-1.87  0.19), whereas other measures of peak external load were likely to very likely higher during the prone Yo-Yo IR1 (0.62-1.80). Sub-maximal RPE was likely to most likely higher (0.40-0.96) and peak RPE very likely higher (0.63  0.41) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. The change in [La]b was likely higher after the prone Yo-Yo IRl. Mean HR was possibly lower at 440 m (-0.25  0.29) as was peak HR (-0.26  0.25) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. "V" ̇E, "V" ̇O2 and "V" ̇CO2 were likely to very likely higher at 280 and 440 m (ES = 0.36-1.22), while peak values were possibly to likely higher (ES = 0.23-0.37) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. Adopting a prone position during the Yo-Yo IR1 increases the internal, perceptual and external responses, placing greater emphasis on metabolically demanding actions typical of rugby.
    • Exercise-induced muscle damage: what is it, what causes it and what are the nutritional solutions?

      Owens, Daniel J.; Twist, Craig; Cobley, James; Howatson, Glyn; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Northumbria University (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-15)
      Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is characterised by symptoms that present both immediately and for up to 14 days after the initial exercise bout. The main consequence of EIMD for the athlete is the loss of skeletal muscle function and soreness. As such, numerous nutrients and functional foods have been examined for their potential to ameliorate the effects of EIMD and accelerate recovery, which is the purpose of many nutritional strategies for the athlete. However, the trade-off between recovery and adaptation is rarely considered. For example, many nutritional interventions described in this review target oxidative stress and inflammation, both thought to contribute to EIMD but are also crucial for the recovery and adaptation process. This calls into question whether long term administration of supplements and functional foods used to target EIMD is indeed best practice. This rapidly growing area of sports nutrition will benefit from careful consideration of the potential hormetic effect of long term use of nutritional aids that ameliorate muscle damage. This review provides a concise overview of what EIMD is, its causes and consequences and critically evaluates potential nutritional strategies to ameliorate EIMD. We present a pragmatic practical summary that can be adopted by practitioners and direct future research, with the purpose of pushing the field to better consider the fine balance between recovery and adaptation and the potential that nutritional interventions have in modulating this balance.
    • Girls, young women and sport in Norway: A case study of sporting convergence amid favourable socio-economic conditions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Vaage, Odd; Mordal-Moen, Kjersti; University of Chester; Hedmark University (Taylor & Francis, 2015-04-14)
      Based primarily on quantitative data from the Norwegian Statistisk Sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) study of Mosjon, Friluftsliv og Kulturaktiviteter, this paper explores sports participation among females – and girls and young women, in particular – in Norway in the early years of the twenty-first century. In line with the observation that sport can be considered epiphenomenal, the paper argues that the comparatively high levels and marked increases in sports participation among young women are likely to have a great deal to do with their socio-economic status and, in particular, the diminishing gender gap over the past two decades. In short, the paper argues that trends in sports participation between 1997 and 2007 suggest that while young women in Norway may not be self-described feminists, they are heirs to the culture fostered by second-wave feminism: they have taken advantage of growing up in a country where standards of living are particularly high and at a time of greater equality between the sexes in order, among other things, to exploit the sporting opportunities increasingly available to them. In terms of the policy implications, the most salient lesson to be learned from the Norwegian situation – by countries keen to promote sports participation among girls and young women – is that instead of individually oriented approaches, sports policies need first and foremost to adopt society-level perspectives that address socio-economic gender disparities.
    • “The helping, the fixtures, the kits, the gear, the gum shields, the food, the snacks, the waiting, the rain, the car rides…”: Social Class, Parenting and Children’s Organised Leisure

      Wheeler, Sharon; Green, Ken; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-11)
      Class-related parenting cultures and ideologies have been of considerable interest to academics over the last two decades. Much of the research thus far has focused on exploring Annette Lareau’s conceptualisations of ‘natural growth’ and ‘concerted cultivation’ and the implications for outcomes in relation to education. The focus of the present article is organised activities, which are a central but as yet relatively under-researched feature of middle-class parenting. The findings are based upon 73 semi-structured interviews with parents and children from 48 middle-class families living in and around a small city in northern England. The article reveals that initiating and facilitating children’s organised activities is considered a central aspect of ‘good’ parenting in middle-class social networks. It is shown how this is a consequence of several developments within society over the past three decades or so, including the rising levels of maternal employment, the growing competitiveness of the labour market and the increasing concerns related to children’s health and safety. It is argued that these developments have heightened middle-class parents’ predisposition to not only be involved with and invest in their children’s leisure biographies, but to do so in a more deliberate, rigorous and rational manner.
    • Including pupils with special educational needs in secondary school physical education: A sociological analysis of teachers' views

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2004-11)
      This paper explores physical education (PE) teachers' views of the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in PE from a figurational sociological perspective. Starting from the premise that teachers' views cannot be adequately explained by studying the concept of inclusion or the teacher in isolation, it is argued that we can only begin to make sense of such views by locating teachers within the figurations of which they are a part and by exploring two particularly salient features of those figurations: namely, teachers' habituses and contexts. In doing so, the paper focuses upon the training teachers receive, the constraints imposed upon them by their colleagues and pupils, and, most importantly, the suitability of the National Curriculum for meeting the needs of pupils with SEN. The paper concludes by highlighting some of the unintended consequences of the inclusion of pupils with SEN in PE.
    • The influence of preseason training phase and training load on body composition and its relationship with physical qualities in professional junior rugby league players

      Dobbin, Nick; Gardner, Adrian; Daniels, Matthew; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-08)
      This study investigated changes in body composition in relation to training load determined using RPE and duration (sRPE), and its relationship with physical qualities over a preseason period. Sixteen professional academy players (age = 17.2 ± 0.7 years; stature = 179.9 ± 4.9 cm; body mass = 88.5 ± 10.1 kg) participated in the study. Body composition was assessed before and after each training phase and physical qualities assessed at the start and end of preseason. Across the whole preseason period, skinfold thickness, body fat percentage and fat mass were most likely lower (ES = -0.73 to -1.00), and fat free mass and lean mass were likely to most likely higher (ES = 0.31 to 0.40). Results indicated that the magnitude of change appeared phase-dependent (ES = -0.05 to -0.85) and demonstrated large individual variability. Changes in physical qualities ranged from unclear to most likely (ES = -0.50 to 0.64). Small to moderate correlations were observed between changes in body composition, and TL with changes in physical qualities. This study suggests training phase and TL can influence a player’s body composition; that large inter-participant variability exists; and that body composition and TL are related to the change in physical qualities.
    • The influence of warm-up duration on simulated rugby league interchange match performance

      Williams, Robert; Gillham, Scott; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester
      Objective: The study was conducted to understand the effects of a short (10-minute) and a long (30-minute) duration warm-up on subsequent readiness to exercise and movement during simulated rugby league match play. Methods: Using a randomised cross-over design, 13 male rugby players (age: 23.6 ± 4.1 y) completed a 10- or 30-minute warm-up immediately before 2 x 23 min rugby league movement simulation protocol. Comparisons of the responses to the warm-up and during the simulation were made between each trial. Results: Total distance, high- and low speed running and tympanic temperature (ES = 0.56 to 20.8) were all higher in the 30 min warm-up, with differences in relative distance and heart rate unclear (ES = -0.36 to 0.06). Differences in participants’ readiness to exercise after the warm-ups were unclear (ES = 0.25). Differences between trials for movement characteristics (ES = -0.13 to -0.32), RPE (ES = -0.13 to 0.04) and B[La] after the simulation were mostly unclear, with only trivial changes in high-speed running (ES = 0.08) and a lower heart rate (ES = -0.26) between the two playing bouts after the 30 min warm-up trial. Conclusion: Practitioners can use warm-ups between 10 or 30 minutes for rugby league interchange players without any implications for subsequent match running performance.
    • Isn’t it good, Norwegian wood? Lifestyle and adventure sports participation among Norwegian youth

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Vaage, Odd; University of Chester; Hedmark University College; Norsk Statistisk Sentralbyra (Taylor & Francis, 2014-08-19)
      Based primarily on quantitative data from the Norwegian Statistisk Sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) study of Mosjon, Friluftsliv og Kulturaktiviteter (Vaage, 2009) supplemented by a little qualitative data, this paper explores Norwegian youngsters’ (and, to a lesser extent, adults’) engagement with conventional and lifestyle sports via an examination of recent trends. Norway boasts particularly high levels of sports participation as well as sports club membership among young people and young Norwegians are the quintessential sporting omnivores. Nevertheless, among the age group where regular participation peaks in Norway (16-19-year-olds) the popularity of games declined over the decade 1997-2007 while participation in lifestyle sports continued to increase (Vaage, 2009). It seems that the particular mix of conventional and lifestyle sports that Norwegian youngsters favour has shifted within a generation, with lifestyle activities more prominent in 2007 than they had been even a decade earlier. The changes in participation in a particular area of sporting participation strongly associated with Norwegian culture – friluftsliv (outdoor life) – may well represent a shift among Norwegian youth towards sports and physical activities that offer alternative forms, as well as types, of participation to conventional sports. They may also represent alternative motivations to those traditionally associated with sport and, for that matter, friluftsliv. The paper draws upon these findings in order to tentatively hypothesize developments in youth leisure-sport in Norway.
    • ‘It’s alpha omega for succeeding and thriving’: Parents, children and sporting cultivation in Norway

      Johansen, Patrick F.; Green, Ken; Innland University Norway; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-13)
      It has become increasingly apparent, internationally, that childhood is a crucial life-stage in the formation of predispositions towards sports participation and that parents are increasingly investing in the sporting capital of their children via a process of ‘concerted cultivation’. It is surprising, therefore, that parents’ involvement in the development of their children’s sporting interests has received so little attention in Norway, given that sport is a significant pastime for Norwegians and participation has been steadily increasing – among youngsters, in particular – over the past several decades. Through a qualitative case study of a combined primary and secondary school in a small Norwegian city, this study sought to add to recent explorations of the role of parents in children’s sporting involvement in Norway. As expected, it was evident that sport becomes taken for granted and internalized very early on in Norwegian children’s lives. Less expected was the recognition that children’s nascent sporting interests were often generated by sports clubs via early years schooling and, therefore, that parents played only one (albeit very important) part in the formation of their youngsters’ early sporting habits. Thus, parents, sports clubs and early years schooling appeared to form something akin to a ‘sporting trinity’ in youngsters’ nascent sporting careers. These findings may have implications for policy-makers looking towards Norway for the ‘recipe’ for sports participation.
    • Marathon des Sables: A scientific case study

      Ryder, J. J.; Grantham, N. J.; Kellett, David; Jones, G. E.; University of Hull ; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University College Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2004-01)
      The Marathon des Sables is an ultra-endurance foot race across the Sahara Desert. The event lasts 6 days, and competitors are susceptible to a variety of specific injuries, including dehydration, heat stress, and ultimately poor performance. This study involved the monitoring of a highly trained 42-year-old male competitor through a 6-month training program and immediately after the event. The monitoring sessions assessed maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 Max), pulmonary function, anthropometric characteristics, body composition, resting metabolic rate, training, and nutritional status. The subject also completed a period of acclimation during the taper phase of the training program in an environmental chamber. The last pre-race VO2max of 4.5 1-min showed a decrease of 0.5 1-min. The subject's diet successfully maintained body weight during the training period, and the subject's weight increased from 67.7kg at 12.2% body fat to 71kg at 13.2% body fat during the taper. The subject sustained no chronic injuries during the training or race periods. We concluded that the intervention strategies adopted were successful in preparing the subject to successfully complete the Marathon des Sables. The athlete covered the 229km in 29hr 21min 21sec, finishing in 75th place.
    • Mission impossible? Reflecting upon the relationship between physical education, youth sport and lifelong participation

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2012-05-08)
      It is widely believed that school physical education (PE) is or, at the very least, can (even should) be a crucial vehicle for enhancing young people’s engagement with physically active recreation (typically but not exclusively in the form of sport) in their leisure and, in the longer run, over the life-course. Despite the prevalence of such beliefs there remains a dearth of evidence demonstrating a ‘PE effect’. Indeed, the precise nature of the relationship between PE, youth sport and lifelong participation is seldom explored other than in implicit, often speculative and discursive, ways that simply take-for-granted the positive effects of the former (PE) on the latter (youth and adult participation in sport and physically active recreation). Using largely European studies to frame the issue, this paper reflects upon the supposedly ‘causal’ relationship between PE, youth sport and lifelong participation and, in doing so, highlights the inherent problems associated with attempts to identify, characterise and establish a ‘PE effect’.
    • Movement characteristics, physiological and perceptual responses of elite standard youth football players to different high intensity running drills

      Gibson, Neil; Henning, Greig; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-04-06)
      Purpose: To examine responses to high intensity running drills in youth football players. Methods: Seventeen players completed the YoYo Intermittent Recovery test level one (YYIR1) and a 15 m maximal sprint to quantify target running speeds. Players performed three conditions on separate occasions comprising: 12 x 15 s high intensity runs at 100% of the final YYIRT1 speed, 12 x ~4 s repeated sprints with ~26 s recovery, and combination running using both modalities. Heart rate was monitored continuously with PlayerLoadTM and movement characteristics using microtechnology. Ratings of perceived exertion and blood lactate responses were measured 2 min after the final repetition. The ratio of Flight:contraction time was calculated from a countermovement jump before and at 2 min and 14 hours after each condition. Data analysis used magnitude based inferences and effect sizes statistics. Results: Peak speed (1.1%; ES 0.23 ± 0.44) and mean speed over the initial 4s (6.3%; ES 0.45 ± 0.46) were possibly faster during combination compared to high intensity running with unclear differences when compared to repeated sprinting. This was despite most likely (21.6%; ES 7.65 ± 1.02) differences in prescribed speeds between conditions. There were likely reductions in F:C at 14 hours ratio after high intensity (-5.6%; ES –0.44 ± 0.32) and combination running (-6.8%; ES -0.53 ± 0.47). Changes in the repeated sprinting condition were unclear. Conclusions: Actual movement characteristics of high intensity running drills may not reflect those used to prescribe them whilst reductions in F:C ratio are still evident 14 hours after their completion.
    • Moving primary physical education forward: start at the beginning

      Jess, Mike; McEvilly, Nollaig; Carse, Nicola; The University of Edinburgh; University of Chester; The University of Edinburgh (Taylor & Francis, 2016-03-07)
      This paper presents selected findings from a questionnaire completed by 509 primary school teachers in Scotland. Drawing on policy enactment theory, the paper focusses on teachers’ personal experiences of physical education and perceptions of the importance of physical education in their schools. More than half (56%) reported that physical education was either ‘very important’ or ‘important’, while almost 40% perceived it to be of ‘limited’ or ‘very limited importance’. ‘Staff’, ‘time’ and ‘subject status’ were the main themes they drew on to explain their responses. Our findings highlight the diverse nature of the physical education professional cultures in Scottish primary schools. From this, we propose that future initiatives to support change in primary physical education should, as a starting point, acknowledge these diverse professional cultures and move beyond the simplistic one-size-fits-all change projects that have been shown to have limited impact on practice.