Factors Causing Lack Of Sport (structured And Free) Activities In Th Eage 3-18 In An Italian Small Town

Por: Claudio Trachelio, Francesco Casolo, Maurizio Mondoni e Nicoletta Davino.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The aim of this research is to show how in an Italian small town there is a progressive and substantial reduction of the number of young people practising sports in their leisure time from 3 to 18 years of age, despite the fact that there are favourable, structural and environmental factors to the sporting practice.

The analysis has been conducted in the town of Lonate Pozzolo (Lombardia province-Italy) where the total population is 11619 inhabitants (5766 males and 5853 female). The individuals in the age of 3 -18 years are 1669 equal to 14,36% of the total population. The considered ages have been the followings: 3-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-14 years, 15-18 years. Questionnaires have been distributed through the schooling system and via mail/telephone and interviews. Search has been directed analyzing four factors among the most important influencing sport practice:
1. Sporting structures of the territory (numbers, square meters and weekly hourly availability of the above);
2. Evaluation of free and paid sports structures. Each of the two types has been quantified and divided in weekly hourly and in relationship with age range;
3. Evaluation of leisure time besides school time according to range age;
4. Percentage of the individuals in the age of 3-18 practising sport and the most important motivations for lack or drop out from sport activities .

The first result emerging from this search is the high middle percentage (42,98%) of people that in the age of 3 -18 years do not practise sporting activities. Secondarily an other important result, emerging from the 11th year, is the remarkable number of students that drop out from sports (20,43%) due to a schooling system that occupies academically with lessons and studing most of their leisure time.

Discussion / Conclusion
Italian schools have privileged the acquisition of intellectual and theoretical competences for a long time (humanistic and technical-scientific culture) considering as secondary and less important movement and the sport culture. The scholastic organization of the high school, leaves particularly few leisure time to the students who spend much more time on books. Therefore it becomes extremely difficult for them to acquire habits and life-styles based on constant sport activities so important for the individual health.

[1]. Young practicing sports, National Conference CONI, Official Acts, Rome 1994
[2]. Istat, Statistic Yearbook Lombardia Province, Milan 2002
[3]. A. Pellai, S. Settembrini, J. Pazardjiklian, L’educazione motoria nella scuola elementare italiana: risultati di una indagine, Italian Journal of Sport Sciences, 2000
[4]. Statistic data, Common registry, Lonate Pozzolo, Italy, 2003

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