AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThis book discusses the development of sports policy, government involvement in sports policy, the development of community sports, school sports, elite sports development, and the development of mega-events such as the Olympic games.
CitationAbingdon: Routledge, 2010
DescriptionThis book is not available through ChesterRep.
CollectionsSport and Exercise Sciences
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University Students’ Sport Participation: The Significance of Sport and Leisure CareersHaycock, David (University of Chester, 2015-04)There is now national and international evidence which indicates that those who have higher educational qualifications are more likely to be present-day and future sport participants than those who leave education once they reach the minimum school-leaving age. In Britain, despite significant government policy and financial investment in interventions designed to boost youth sport participation alongside other favourable trends, including a doubling in the proportion of students entering higher education (HE) since the 1980s, the rates of sport participation among the general population, including young people, have remained relatively static. This is particularly significant for, if attending HE does indeed help explain why university students are more likely to become present-day sport participants and remain sports-active into later life, then one might have expected to observe increases in participation by young people and adults over the last three decades or so. Since this has not happened, definitive conclusions about whether there is a HE effect on sport participation and, if so, what this effect/these effects are, cannot yet be drawn. The central objective of this study, therefore, was to explore this apparent paradox by analysing the development of 124 20-25-year-old undergraduate students’ present-day sport and leisure participation via a retrospective analysis of their sport and leisure careers. The study employed a cross-sectional, mixed methods, research design incorporating structured and semi-structured interviews held at two universities in England between March and July 2011. The findings indicated that the two clearest predictors of differences in the present-day sport participation and sport careers of university students were subject of study and sex, with sport students and males being the most likely participants over the life course and whilst at university. These differences first emerged during childhood, widened from age 12-13-years-old, and remained relatively set from age 16 onwards. The differences in the present-day sport participation of university students, and the richness of their overall sport careers, could thus not be attributed to a ‘HE effect’ as previous research has suggested. It was during childhood, rather than youth, when the preconditions required for constructing short- or longer-term sport (and leisure) careers were formed. The differential childhood socialization practices students’ experienced played a crucial role in the development of sporting habituses and dispositions within their unfolding networks (or figurations) which provided the foundations upon which present-day inequalities in participation were based. In this regard, the assumed contribution attending HE has previously been expected to make to students’ current and future sport participation appears to have been over-stated, and in so doing diverted attention from other processes associated with the inequalities that underlie students’ differential engagement in sport. It seemed that the context of university did little to promote overall levels of student participation, the numbers of sports they played, and the facilities they used. At best, attending HE may have simply delayed the drop-out from sport among those with already established and longer-running sport careers prior to attending university. In this regard, the present focus on raising sport participation among 14-25-year-olds by various sports organizations and facilitators would appear misguided and perhaps doomed to failure, for the evidence of this study suggests that a more appropriate focal point for policy interventions concerned with boosting longer-term participation is not with youth, but with children.
Learning to Play: How working-class lads negotiate working-class physical educationGreen, Ken; Scattergood, Andrew J. (University of Chester, 2017)Adults from the middle-classes are up to three times more likely to be regularly involved in sport than those from the working-class. The reason for this participation anomaly has been consistently linked to the differing lifestyles and opportunities to which young people from working and middle-class backgrounds are exposed. More specifically, working-class children are more likely to develop narrow, class-related leisure profiles and sporting repertoires during their childhood that serve to limit the likelihood of them remaining physically active in adulthood. In relation to this, one of the key aims of physical education (PE) in mainstream schools is to develop the range of skills and knowledge for all pupils and widen their sporting repertoires in an attempt to promote long-term participation throughout their lives. However, not only has PE provision in British mainstream schools been shown to be unsuccessful in promoting working-class pupils’ sporting/ability development, some suggest that the subject may even be perpetuating the social difference that has been shown to exist in relation to sports participation between social class groups. In order to address these issues the study set out to examine the extent to which the wider social background of white, working-class ‘lads’ and the actions and attitudes of their PE teachers came to impact on the way the lads influenced and experienced their PE curriculum/lessons. It also aimed to examine the impact that school PE then had on their sporting repertoires and participation in sport/active leisure outside of school. A total of 24 days were spent in Ayrefield Community School (ACS), a purposively selected, working-class state secondary school as part of a case study design. Over 60 practical PE lessons were observed that led to differing roles being adopted and guided conversations being conducted before, during, and after these lessons. Eight focus group interviews were also conducted with specifically chosen lads as well as one with the four members of male PE staff. Additional observations were also carried out during off-site trips, external visits, and in a range of classroom-based lessons. The findings were then considered and examined in relation to the work of the sociologists Norbert Elias and Pierre Bourdieu. The findings revealed that the pressures related to the modern education system and the social expectations linked to their working-class backgrounds caused a split between the lads at ACS in to three broad groups, namely: Problematics, Participants and Performers. These groupings came to impact on the ways that these lads engaged and achieved in school as well as the ways in which they came to negotiate and experience PE. The ‘Problematic’ group held largely negative views of education, but valued PE, especially when playing football, the ‘Participants’ were relatively successful at school yet apathetic regarding the content and delivery of their PE lessons, and a Performer group of lads emerged who engaged and achieved highly at school and participated in a range of activities in PE, but showed little intention of participating outside of school due to their pragmatic attitude to ‘learning’ in PE. Despite these differing school and PE experiences between the lads’ groups, the potential and actual impact of school PE on their sporting repertoires, skills, and interests was ultimately constrained by a range of issues. In the first instance the lads’ narrow, class-related leisure profiles and sporting repertoires linked closely to recreational participation with friends, alongside a lack of proactive parenting were significant limiting factors. In addition, the ability of some lads to constrain the actions of PE staff and peers to get what they wanted in PE rather than what they needed, and the negative views of most lads to skill development and structured PE lessons meant that PE at ACS was never likely to have a positive impact on the sporting repertoires and participation types/levels of its male pupils either currently or in their future lives.