Diversity in participation reigns, policy challenges ahead
sport for all (ages) from a European perspective
Scheerder, J., Vandermeerschen, H., & Breedveld, K. (2018). Diversity in participation reigns, policy challenges ahead: sport for all (ages) from a European perspective. In R.A. Dionigi, Sport & physical activity across the lifespan (pp. 45-65)
In this contribution the authors will depict the current state of affairs regarding Sport for All in Europe, in terms of active sport participation. What has been won or lost in half a decade of stimulating sport participation? What differences occur in the degree of sport participation across social groups and across countries? What factors can help us understand the differences and similarities? The structure of the chapter is as follows. First, the authors will elaborate on the European model of sport. This model will be discussed from a critical stance by introducing an alternative approach. Second, they will shortly go into the existing research on sport participation, both in terms of methods and outcomes. Next, by making use of empirical participation data, attention will be paid to geographical differences and to differences between social groups. In addition, they will offer two main explanations for these differences. Keeping in mind that sport participation is primarily the responsibility of the member states and less of the European Union itself, they will focus to a large degree on figures on sport participation at the country level. They will conclude this chapter with some recommendations for research as well as policy making.