Using pertinent academic literature, critically discuss the following question: “Should sports development focus on the development of elite sport or the development of a wider social agenda?”
The main purpose of sports development is to focus on increasing participation and physical activity for children, younger adults and older people creating stronger and healthier communities. “Development encourages more people to take part in sport generally” (Sports Development Officer, n.d). Sports development is also vital in order to develop clubs, to manage and develop as well as sustain and improve facilities and to create links with governments and businesses to ensure healthy relationships are maintained. Sports development seeks to provide and promote sport in local communities, it also try to develop the participation in sport and the opportunities available to people. Sports development is mainly seen to increase participation for non elite athletes and in communities where sport isn‟t really well participated. This means that it is need to act as a „back bone‟ so there is a wide spread of coaches, facilities and clubs available to these communities and sports development helps this growth.
Grass roots development is vital in ensuring that future talents can have the opportunities to develop and have the chance to be the new generation of elite athletes. If we do not have the development in place to allow the grass roots athletes to evolve then we will no longer have Olympic standard athletes coming through. “Sport has a huge part to play in enriching the lives of people of all generations across the fields of health, education and social exclusion. However, if sport is to play this role, its grassroots need to be strong. Furthermore a strong and active grassroots scene means a bigger pool of talent available for elite programmes”. (Grass Roots Sport, 2010). Grass Roots development doesn‟t just give potential Olympic standard children to have the opportunity to come through the ranks, but it also helps to contribute to other key factors such as the increasing problem of obesity in this country and because there is not much being done to improve this issue, obesity rates are likely to sore and continue to increase. “Yet, despite this, grassroots sport is in crisis and, unsurprisingly, obesity rates, particularly among the young, are spiralling. Up and down the country, local authority sports facilities are closing and amateur sports clubs are reporting a desperate lack of cash and a vast increase in the regulatory and cost burden involved in operating.” (Grass Roots Sports 2010).
With the facilities closing and funding being scrapped from the clubs, more children are likely going to be less active and have decreased chances to play sport. It is suggested that the cause of this is because children are less active and spend a lot of their time watching television rather than being physical (Turner 2003) . „‟They are living in a 2D world rather than a 3D world. Children are therefore losing their spatial awareness which is resulting in a lack of co-ordination and a reduced ability to process auditory and visual information correctly.‟‟ The funding has been severely cut for grass root sports especially this year because of the new focus on the upcoming 2012 Olympics which London is hosting. I personally feel this will impact on the health and fitness of the youngsters and will have a severely impact on every aspect of grass roots sport, from participation to future rising stars. “This is devastating news for the future health and wellbeing of our young people and the army of dedicated, passionate and committed people throughout the country who, through sport, have delivered such change for young people in recent years.” (Challenging Times, n.d.). In some people opinion, all the focus is going on the Olympics and money is being spend on making it spectacular rather than focusing on „home truths‟ issues such other “two...
References: Funding Grassroots, 2010 Retrieved December 10th 2010 from http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/services/docs/sport/conference20100216/5funding_of_grassroots_sports-the_olympic_sport_movement_en.pdf 2010 Homorazzi (n.d), Retrieved December 26th 2010 from http://www.homorazzi.com/article/should-professionals-be-allowed-in-the-olympicsamateur-olympic-spirit-ideal-fair-competition/#ixzz18Hrfd1M5 Idebate (n.d), Retrieved December 11th 2010 from http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=799 Medical Statistics (n.d), Retrieved December 11th 2010 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/40832.php 2010 News UK (n.d), Retrieved December 11th 2010 from http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/news/2010/10/21/challenging-times-ahead-for-grassrootssport/ n.d Professional vs Armature (n.d), Retrieved December 12th from http://www.homorazzi.com/article/should-professionals-be-allowed-in-the-olympicsamateur-olympic-spirit-ideal-fair-competition/ Sport England (n.d), Retrieved November 1st 2010 from http://www.sportengland.org/ Telegraph, 2010 Retrieved November 1st 2010 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london2012/5144780/Grass-rootssports-funding-drops-ahead-of-Olympics.html This is London, (n.d), Retrieved December 10th 2010 from http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-olympics/article-23514159-2012-games-will-fail-toboost-grassroots-sport.do2101
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