Factors affecting participation in certain sports Essay
Factors affecting participation in certain sports
Your peers are the people you mix with who have similar interests and backgrounds and are roughly your age. Your peer group has a big influence on the way you behave and the things that you do. This is not always expressed words. If you wear the “wrong” clothes or do the “wrong” things you can very quickly feel left out. If you peers approve of an activity, you will feel encouraged to do it. Sadly, peer-group pressure can also force people to give up sports even though they enjoy them.
Your family can have a similar effect on you as your friends can. We pick up many of our habits and values from home. If your family enjoys sport and gives you the opportunities to participate, then it is likely that you will. Most young people depend upon parents and family for kit and help with travel to sports events. The opposite is again true. If your Family has a negative attitude to physical activity it is likely you will to.
There is a mistaken believe held by some people that sports is a man’s world. There certainly seem to be few barriers put up to prevent men from participating in physical activity. Far more men Participate in physical activity than women.
People from minority ethic groups can be discriminated against when it comes to physical activity. Many people have the mistaken belief that they are physiologically different because they are a different colour, and this means they will be good at some activities and not others. For example some people believe that all black people are fast runners and they can not swim very well. This belief could be the reason why we see so many black runners and so very little black swimmers.
The activity you participate in may be determined to a large extent by what you can afford. Activities like sailing, golf and riding can be very expensive so many people from lower socio-economic groups are excluded from them. There are also many activities that cost very little. A kick around in the park with a group of friends, for example, and sport at school are mostly free. Unemployed people are in a difficult situation: plenty of time to fill but not much money. To encourage them, sports facilities often charge less, especially at quiet times of the day.
Young people are encouraged to participate at school and have plenty of free time to take up sport. It also depends on the activity. To be a good gymnast you need to be young and flexible. Today, however, with computer technology not all youngsters want to spend their free time playing sports and not all sports are open to very young people. People tend to take part less in physical recreation as they get older as they often have more responsibilities and less free time to spend on sport. Stereotyping can mean that older people are discouraged from being physically active. Some older people stereotype themselves and believe that they are too old to take part in physically activity. However, there are many sports that you can enjoy into your old age. All you need is motivation to do it, the right facilities and no barriers to prevent you.
A disability may restrict your activities and other people’s prejudice can be a barrier to your participation. But disabled sport has received a much higher profile since the Paralympics games in Sydney, and the efforts of disabled athletes like Tanni Grey-Thompson have provided disabled people with excellent role models. Many sports have charged their rules to suit the needs of disabled people and have set up coaching and competitions for them. Facilities must now include ramps and lifts and special changing rooms so that disabled people can have full access.
If there is a sports facility near where you live, and there is a good road system and public transport in place, then getting there is made easy. However, many people do not live within easy reach of sports facilities, and the public transport system is poor, so participation is made more difficult.
Popularity, Promotion and Role models
Participation in many sports varies. Because of media coverage during Wimbledon fortnight, tennis courts across the country are heavily used as seeing role models perform on TV encourages people to play the sport themselves. Not all sports attract media attention, however, and not all media coverage is positive. Some sports have increased in popularity by operating national schemes. Basketball, for example, is much more popular since the Basketball Outdoors Initiative of the 1990’s. Thousands of free facilities began to appear in parks and school playgrounds across the country encouraging more people to play.
Environment and climate
Participation in some activities also depends upon the environment and climate. It is very hard to become a top skier if you live in a very hot country and, if you want to practise mountaineering and you live in Holland, you have got to travel. So it is not hard to understand why countries like Switzerland and Canada produce very good skiers. Britain is traditionally good at sailing because it is an island and surrounded by water,
Tradition and Culture
Tradition and Culture also affect participation. For examples some cultures disapprove of women taking part in physical recreation in public or in mixed company. This is one reason why many sports centres operate “women only” sessions. Most sports (like rugby) have had a tradition of being male only. Women have had to work hard to be allowed to participate.
Your education has a big effect on your attitude to sport physical recreation. If your school is keen on sport you will be encouraged to participate and if you enjoy it, you are likely to continue after you leave. The opposite is also true, however, for those who dislike PE. It is know that there is a drop in participation at the age of 16 when youngsters leave school. This is know as the post school gap and is perhaps caused by the desire to leave all school based activities behind you when you leave. Thankfully, many young people then see the benefits of physical activity and return to it later on in life.
The extent to which people take part in a physical activity also depends on their politicians. All governments get involved in sport for one reason or another. For example, facilities cost so much to build that the government usually has to pay at least something towards them. A government may promote sport for all in an attempt to cut the cost of the health service or cut crime. It may promote excellence in sport so as to bring a sense of pride to the country and raise its standing in the outside world.
Sponsorship also has an effect on participation, as it is this that brings money into sport. Even local level, small businesses often sponsor teams and help them financially, allowing people to play. How ever sponsors can decide to pull out of the deal very easily and leaves the team needing to find another one or stop playing.
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