Community Sports For Adolescents In Urban Norway

Por: Eivind Skille.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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In Norway, as in many other countries, the rate of drop-outs has its top during the years of adolescence. They are often
given the clear choice: either you give up other leisure activities and succeed in sport, or you simply end all your sport
participation. However, the reasons adolescents give for quitting sport, show that their preferences are not mutual
exclusive to some participation; hence they are often not compatible with full participation. One could expect flexible
organized activities would fit their lives better than traditional sports do. The Sports Coty Program (SCP) was
established to fulfil this requirement, by offering low-threshold activities to inactive and unorganized segments of the
city population.

A sample of adolescents in secondary schools in the second largest city of Norway (Bergen), where the SCP is well
developed after ten years of functioning, has answered a questionnaire (n = 566). The questionnaire consisted, among
other themes, of two batteries of statements measuring preferences for sport participation. The first battery was used to
measure preferences both for participation in ordinary sports and in SCP activities. Through factor analysis the
statements were clustered in new variables, which with t-tests were compared between the two arenas. The other battery
measured the flexible aspect lying in SCP activities and reasons for quitting ordinary sports. These were correlated.

The factor analysis comes out with five factors explaining preferences for participation; competitive orientation, self
confidence/identity, health/surplus energy, joy/fun, body/look and social aspects. Joy/fun and competitiveness were
significant more important for those participating in ordinary sports than those participating in SCP activities (see table

Discussion / Conclusions
The correlations show that some demands unsatisfied in ordinary sports are satisfied in alternative sports. Hence
alternative sports they may not be, but rather semi-organized activities; they are organized for self governance.
Perhaps it is a Sonderweg between hard organizing attributing conventional sports and total flux which reckons
alternative sports. There is, however, still a way to go to total participation. Answering the question whether full
participation is realistic or utopia requires more research on those parts of the population never participating in any
physical activity.

NOTA: O texto com a iconografia está no anexo.

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