This report intends to mainly deal with school sport and "physical education" (PE). Physical education means a statutory area of the school curriculum, concerned with developing pupils' physical competences and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities. PE is concerned with learning the skills, develop mentally appropriate conditional abilities and understanding required for participation in physical activities, knowledge of one's own body, and its range of and capacity for movement and health-conscious lifelong physical activities.
In contrast, "sport" has a much broader meaning and is a highly diversified social phenomenon, encompassing various forms of physical activity from high-level competition through school, club or community organised programmes to spontaneous and informal physical activity.
School is the ideal setting to promote physical activity and positive attitude towards regular physical activities. Children and adolescents from all social backgrounds are present on a regular basis for at least eleven years of their waking life. School, in general, has also a primary function as a place of learning. Early learning experiences are crucial to continuing involvement in physical activity and a child's experience of curricular and extracurricular opportunities in school is extremely important.
However, at present, it is often said that school is not delivering on its potentials when it comes to promoting physical activity. Hence, the central question is not whether physical education in school is useful or not, the question is: what conditions are necessary for physical education to have beneficial outcomes? This is the question this report is dealing with(1).
The rising prevalence of obesity across Europe, particularly among young people, is alarming and is a major public health concern. The number of EU children affected by overweight and obesity is estimated to be...