Research group Sport as a social and cultural phenomenon attracts great interest worldwide, from athletes, spectators and volunteers to sponsors, school, and public authorities. As such, sport means many different things for different actors, from performance, entertainment, and meaningfulness to exposure, learning and public health. The research group in sport pedagogy takes an interest in all these aspects and the consequences they may bring to individuals and society.
Sport is a popular leisure pursuit among girls and boys as well as among many adults in Sweden. In addition, physical education and health has been a compulsory subject in Swedish schools since the establishment of public schooling in 1842. There is a strong societal belief in sport as a fostering environment for children and youth, for public health and for promoting democracy and social integration. Sports has also become a part of the entertainment and tourist sectors which have created new sport related synergies with commercial actors including media.
This development has also attracted interest from the research community. In the research field of Sport pedagogy, educational processes in all forms of sports are in focus. This research has had a rapid national and international development during the last decades. At the Department of Education at Umeå University, research in Sport pedagogy has been pursued since the 1970s. Today this research group consists of about 20 teachers and researchers, which makes it one of the largest in Sweden within the humanities and social sciences in Sweden.