Youth Sport Participation

A comparison between European member states

Authored by: Charlotte van Tuyckom

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932

10.4324/9780203795002.ch7

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Abstract

Sport and Europe share a strong connection (Scheerder, van Tuyckom and Vermeersch, 2007). Not only is Europe the birthplace of modern sport, which originated in the British public schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Renson, 1992), but Olympism and the ‘Sport for All’ movement also have their roots in European soil. Several European governments have contributed to the development of the current European sport sphere. After World War II, many (Western) European countries developed a noticeably active government policy with regard to sport and physical activity. An important aim of this policy was to inspire as many citizens as possible to get involved in sportive action and to take part in physical activities. In 1966, the Council of Europe had already launched the Sport for All idea, as a result of which Sport for All achieved a pioneer role in the advancement of sportive body movement among European citizens (Husting, 2003). In 1975, government actions with respect to recreational sport became institutionalized in the form of the European Sport for All Charter (Council of Europe, 1975). Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this Charter endorses the right to active sport participation for every citizen. All Council of Europe member-country ministers responsible for sport signed the Charter, and it still acts as a democratic counterbalance for the ideology of top level sport (Vanreusel, 2001).

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