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Staying in sport clubs on the physical literacy life journey: A vision of Strategy 2025

Research project The need for sport clubs to enable lifelong participation in sports is highly relevant in Sweden. The minister of sports, Annika Strandhäll, recently said, “I want to see more sport clubs for the elderly. I want to see boxing clubs for 70-year-old people".

The research will provide new knowledge on how adjusted sports-for-all initiatives can meet the behavioural challenges of keeping people physically active in sport clubs in a lifelong perspective, which may lead to increased physical literacy over peoples' lifespan.

Head of project

Inger Eliasson
Senior lecturer (associate professor)
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period

2019-01-01 2021-12-31

Research subject

Pedagogy, Sports and fitness sciences

Project description

Background
This study is about the potential of life long sport participation in sport clubs. The aim of the research project is to study sport participants and sport organization representatives’ experiences and interactions of participating in or organizing sport adjusted to people on various physical literacy pathways through life. The need for sport clubs to enable lifelong participation in sports is highly relevant in Sweden. The minister of sports, Annika Strandhäll, recently said, “I want to see more sport clubs for the elderly. I want to see boxing clubs for 70-year-old people".

This statement is in line with the Swedish Sports Confederation’s Strategy 2025, which states, “More and more people see sport as a training for life, and both sport federations and sport clubs talk about the right to physical literacy for all” (Riksidrottsförbundet, 2018). Adjusting sport activities to more than a few is a fundamental basis for the strategy. However, it is one thing to adopt a vision for promoting lifelong physical activity, and it is another to qualitatively design sport practices that adjust to people’s, women's and men's, various levels of physical literacy during a lifespan.

This research is based on two empirical studies, about the phenomenon of Gåfootball, a new adjusted sport for all offered by sport clubs in Sweden for the first time in 2018. The study includes interviews with participants in Gå-Fotboll of various ages and genders as well as with the organizers. In addition, sessions of Gå-fotboll is planned to be observed will be observed.

To investigate how human activity develops, regarding the sport practice of Gå-fotboll, the theoretical construct “life course of a practice” will be used. Physical literacy as a philosophical construct has received increasingly higher prominence in research, theory and practice. However, the concept of physical literacy is not straightforward. Whitehead (2010, 11) defined physical literacy as: “appropriate to each individual’s endowment, physical literacy can be described as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to maintain physical activity throughout the life course,” which will be used in this study. In line with the expected participants in Gå-fotboll, the study will span from adolescence to old age.

Aim
The aim is to study sport participants and sport organization representatives’ experiences and interactions of participating in or organizing sports adjusted to people on various physical literacy pathways through life.

Implications
The research will provide new knowledge on how adjusted sports-for-all initiatives can meet the behavioural challenges of keeping people physically active in sport clubs in a lifelong perspective, which may lead to increased physical literacy over peoples' lifespan. The research project will be conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Football Association.

Contact
inger.eliasson@umu.se, 070-555 9654