General Article Sport and society

Topic Selected: Sport
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Sport and young people

Research and project evaluation provides useful evidence on what motivates and deters young people’s sporting participation.

Sport has to compete with the many leisure and lifestyle choices available to young people.

A 2012 Sport England review of research in this field found sport needs to adapt to key factors affecting young people’s take-up:

  • a move towards ‘lifestyle’ related sports which lack the regulation of traditional sport
  • the way social media is breaking down the boundaries between passive interest, doing, playing and watching sport
  • psychological factors such as self-confidence, body image and young people’s perceptions about their own sport competence
  • access to facilities and cost – these play a part, but are secondary to the other factors above.

Life transitions – such as moving from primary to secondary school, and from school to higher education or work – often lead to young people dropping out of sport.

Young women are less likely t...

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