Sports development and young people

The role of international organizations

Authored by: Roland Naul , Jan Holze

Routledge Handbook of Sports Development

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415479967
eBook ISBN: 9780203885581
Adobe ISBN: 9781134019717


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Sports development and young people is presently a topic with many facets. Historically there was a strong link between the evolution of sport in Europe and the targets and goals that European societies were trying to achieve in the education and development of young people. In many cases it was young people who, in their leisure time or in their time at school, gave forms of play and sports their specific character. Scholars of these historical roots find this special relationship between the evolution of sport and the culture of the young in the view of German philanthropists of the late eighteenth century, such as Johann Christoph Gutsmuths, and in the reformed public schools of Thomas Arnold and his followers in the United Kingdom of the nineteenth century. Outside Europe, it should be noted that the beginnings of the sports movement, in America and Asia for example, have to be regarded as closely connected to the evolution of the respective educational systems for young people and the ensuing development of youth sport culture. This connection is seen most prominently when you remember the goals of the young Olympic Movement. In 1894 Pierre de Coubertin was able to reanimate the ancient Olympic Games by inviting the youth of the world – every four years – to engage in fair sporting competition in major cities all over the world. Thus, one of the oldest and most important sports organisations was initiated, the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For over a hundred years, the IOC has stimulated the evolution of sport and youth sport through its various programmes. The current introduction of the Youth Olympic Games by the IOC with the support of the International Federations (IFs) in 2010 underlines this special role (IOC, 2007a).

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