Personal Factors that Affect Participation in Sport

Other Factors

Age

The sport and leisure pursuits that people take part are closely related to their age and local tradition.

As people get older the time spent taking part in sport becomes less and the nature of the sport changes.

Activities with high-energy requirements and output such as rugby are generally associated with younger players while activities that rely on skill rather than physical fitness such as lawn bowls are associated with older people.

As the body ages it becomes less flexible, strength is lost as are speed and stamina.

Sprains and other minor injuries become more frequent and recovery time becomes longer.

There are activities where age does not affect participation such as swimming, walking and playing golf.

There is therefore no reason why sport and related activities should not be participated in at any age.

Age only limits the type of activity.

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Ability will limit the level at which an activity is pursued.

Having a high ability in any sport means that there could be increased participation, which in itself can lead to improvement in performance.

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Sport for people with disabilities has changed considerably, with governing bodies devising rules and activities suitable for all disabilities.

The then Sports Council now Sport England, published an action plan in 1993 to help the disabled take part in sport.

The seven main objectives were:

  1. To raise the profile of disability in sport.

  2. To ensure that plans for sport included people with disabilities

  3. To provide sporting opportunities for people with disabilities.

  4. To improve access to sport.

  5. To encourage people with disabilities in international sports.

  6. To ensure the best use of resources and increase finance.

  7. To make sure that the sporting needs of people with disabilities are met.

Over time more and more sport is being made available to people with disabilities.

The profile of sport for the disabled is rising with the televised wheelchair basketball and the media coverage of the Paralympics.

More sports centres now make provision for people with disabilities.

Fewer females pro rata take part in sport than males.

At the ancient Olympic Games, women were not allowed to watch the activities let alone participate in them.

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By the end of the nineteenth century, English women, from the middle classes, were taking part in sport. Victorian attitudes meant that women often played in cumbersome dresses making movement difficult.

In the early twentieth century, the national governing bodies of some sports were formed and there were organised competitions for women, usually separate from men.

Women competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1904 but only in archery.

Even in the 1996, Atlanta games there were 163 men's events and only 97 women's events.

The First World War was the turning point for women's sport, where the myth that women were weak, had little energy and were unable to cope with men's work was broken.

If they could cope with the work of the munitions factory then they could cope with men's sport.

Heavy industry called women to work again during the Second World War but after the war more women continued to work.

They had more money to spend and more freedom to participate in sport and leisure activities.

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Reasons for Low Participation:

All the profile of women's sport has continued to grow over the past two or three decades, there are still obvious reasons why sport participation by women still falls short of that of men.

Physique:

Women are still viewed as the fairer, weaker sex and some sports are deemed too dangerous for them.

The 1928 Olympics cast doubt over women's ability to run the 800 metre race when several of them collapsed during that race.

This race was not re-instated as a women's race until the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

Four athletic events have remained closed to women until quite recently. They are the 3,000 metres, pole-vault, the hammer and the triple-jump.

Only triple-jump appeared at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

Social Attitudes:

Victorian attitudes that a woman's place is in the home continue to be prevalent even in today's society.

To be a top sportsperson you need to train for long hours, be psychologically tough, muscular and competitive. These characteristics are often seen as acceptable for men but not for women.

Role Models:

For boys there are many role models in a wide range of sports.

There are fewer role models for women.

Finance:

Sportswomen receive only a fraction of the sponsorship that sportsmen receive.

Prize money is very often less for women's events than men's.

Media Coverage:

There is less media coverage of women's sport than there is of men's sport and so the profile of women in sport continues to remain low.

There are fewer women involved in the media itself although there has been a more recent shift in this with presenters such as Sue Barker, covering more sporting events on TV.

Exam-style Questions

  1. a) You are usually at your fittest in your twenties. Give four reasons why from your thirties onwards your fitness usually drops.

    (4 marks)

    b)Describe the build of an extreme Mesomorph.

    (1 mark)

    c) Explain the ideal build for a high jumper.

    (2 marks)

    d) State three factors which can affect performance.

    (3 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 1

    a) You get 1 mark for each of the following reasons you might have given up to a maximum of 4:

    (i) Body fat increases as you age

    (ii) Movements get slower

    (iii) Joints get stiffer

    (iv) Heart rates decrease

    (v) Bones get lighter

    (vi) Muscles get weaker

    (vii) More prone to disease

    (4 marks)

    b) Give yourself 1 mark if you have made any of the following points:

    Extreme Mesomorphs have: Broad shoulders; Muscular bodies; Very little body fat.

    (1 mark)

    c) Any of the following answers would get you your 2 marks:

    (i) Being tall

    (ii) Being light

    (iii) Having strong muscles

    (2 marks)

    d) You get 3 marks for mentioning 3 of the following factors:

    (i) Age

    (ii) Sex/Gender

    (iii) Physique

    (iv) Diet

    (v) Exercise

    (vi) Physical Disability

    (vii) Illness

    (viii) Drug Taking

    (ix) Stress

    (x) The Environment

    (3 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

  2. a) Explain how the environment can affect your performance.

    (2 marks)

    b) State four advantages men have over women in physical activity.

    (4 marks)

    c) Name the extreme somatotype, which is characterised by narrow hips and shoulders, a thin face and very little muscle or body fat.

    (1 mark)

    d) Describe the build of an extreme Endomorph.

    (1 mark)

    e) Name two socially acceptable drugs, which have an affect on performance.

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 2

    a) Give your yourself 2 marks for mentioning tow of the following points:

    (i) Fumes can damage lungs

    (ii) Hot, humid weather can make you overheat

    (iii) Windy weather can make performing skills difficult

    (iv) High altitudes can make breathing difficult

    (2 marks)

    b) Give yourself 4 marks, 1 mark each, for mentioning any 4 of the following answers:

    (i) Males are stronger

    (ii) Males have better cardiovascular endurance

    (iii) Males are more powerful due to bigger bones

    (iv) Males are faster

    (v) Males usually have less body fat

    (vi) Males have been encouraged to be competitive

    (vii) They have more role models

    (viii) They have more opportunities for participation

    (4 marks)

    c) Give yourself 1 mark for identifying the somatotype Ectomorph.

    (1 mark)

    d) Mentioning any of the following would be enough to get you 1 mark:

    (i) Wide hips and narrow shoulders

    (ii) A lot of body fat on the body

    (iii) A lot of body fat on the upper arms and legs

    (iv) Slim wrists and ankles

    (1 mark)

    e) You need to name 2 of the following to get your marks:

    (i) Nicotine (from smoking)

    (ii) Ethanol (from alcohol)

    (iii) Caffeine (from coffee, coke, etc)

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

  3. a) Name the three different extreme somatotypes.

    (3 marks)

    b) Describe the ideal build for a gymnast.

    (3 marks)

    c) Explain why a sumo wrestler's ideal build would be endomorph with some mesomorph.

    (2 marks)

    d) Explain how stress can affect your performance.

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 3

    a) You have to name all of the following to get maximum marks:

    (i) Endomorph

    (ii) Mesomorph

    (iii) Ectomorph

    (3 marks)

    b) You get 3 marks if you mention 3 of the following points, otherwise it's 1 mark for each:

    (i) Being light is an advantage

    (ii) They need strong muscles

    (iii) Ectomorph with some endomorph

    (iv) Little body fat

    (3 marks)

    c) Give yourself 1 mark for each of the following that you mentioned:

    (i) They need to be heavy so that they are hard to lift and push

    (ii) They need strength and power to be able to move opponents

    (2 marks)

    d) Give yourself 2 marks for mentioning two of the following points:

    (i) Continual stress leads to high blood pressure and heart disease

    (ii) Your muscles go tense

    (iii) You can't concentrate clearly

    (iv) You make mistakes

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

  4. a) Describe the build of an extreme Ectomorph.

    (1 mark)

    b) Explain how your physique can affect your sports participation and give an example from a sporting situation.

    (2 marks)

    c) Explain why body composition puts females at a disadvantage to men when performing.

    (2 marks)

    d) Describe how your fitness will change with age.

    (3 marks)

    e) Name two physiological factors, which can explain differences between male and female fitness.

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 4

    a) Award yourself 1 mark for mentioning any of the following characteristics:

    (i) Narrow shoulders and hips

    (ii) A thin face

    (iii) A narrow chest and abdomen

    (iv) Thin legs and arms

    (v) Very little muscle or body fat

    (1 mark)

    b) Give yourself 1 mark for saying your build makes you fitter for some sports than others. Then award yourself another make if you made a suitable example like a tall person would be more suited to basketball, high jumping, etc.

    (2 marks)

    c) You get 2 marks for mentioning 2 of the following factors:

    (i) Females usually have a higher % of body fat than men do

    (ii) Fat is extra weight to carry round

    (iii) Fat puts extra strain on their heart, joints and muscles

    (2 marks)

    d) You get 3 marks for describing the following changes of fitness with age:

    (i) When you are young you have a low level of fitness

    (ii) As you reach your twenties you reach your fittest years

    (iii) As you then get older (after thirties) your fitness starts to decrease

    (3 marks)

    e) Name two of the following list and you receive two marks:

    (i) Strength

    (ii) Cardiovascular Endurance

    (iii) Bone Structure

    (iv) Speed

    (v) Flexibility

    (vi) Body composition

    (2 marks)

    (Marks available: 10)

Physique

A person's size, weight and shape can be a contributing factor as to which sports they participate in.

In the1950s an American, W.H.Sheldon classified people into three different types. This form of classification is known as somatotyping.

The three types are:

  1. Endomorph

  2. Mesomorph

  3. Ectomorph.

Endomorph: Narrow shoulders, wide hips, large head, fat on arms and legs, lots of body fat.

Mesomorph: Broad shoulders, narrow hips, square head, muscular arms and legs, small amounts of body fat.

Ectomorph: Narrow shoulders and hips thin face, high forehead, thin arms and legs little muscle, small amounts of body fat.

Rarely are people classified in one particular group but are usually a mixture of the three.

Measurements can be taken which classify people on a score from 1 - 7 in how much they are endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic.

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Most sportspeople are between the mesomorphic and the ectomorphic extremes, with a greater tendency towards the mesomorphic.

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Being tall is important for volleyball players and high-jumpers but a disadvantage in high diving.

There are numerous examples of where height and weight are distinct advantages when participating in certain sports or playing a positional role in certain team games.

Body composition is concerned with the ratios of body fat to body muscle to bone to connective tissue.

People in sport tend to have a higher muscle to fat ratio and this can be measured using skin fold callipers that measure different amounts of fat in different parts of the body.

S-Cool Revision Summary

A person's size, weight and shape (somatotype) can be a contributing factor as to which sports they participate in.

The tree types are endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph.

Endomorph - Narrow shoulders, wide hips, large head, fat on arms and legs, lots of body fat.
Mesomorph - Broad shoulders, narrow hips, square head, muscular arms and legs, small amounts of body fat.
Ectomorph - Narrow shoulders and hips thin face, high forehead, thin arms and legs little muscle, small amounts of body fat.

Being tall is important for volleyball players and high-jumpers but a disadvantage in high diving. There are numerous examples of where height and weight are distinct advantages when participating in certain sports or playing a positional role in certain team games.

Body composition is concerned with the ratios of body fat to body muscle to bone to connective tissue. People in sport tend to have a higher muscle to fat ratio and this can be measured using skin fold callipers that measure different amounts of fat in different parts of the body.

Age

The sport and leisure pursuits in which people take part are closely related to their age and local tradition.

Activities with high-energy requirements and output such as rugby are generally associated with younger players while activities that rely on skill rather than physical fitness such as lawn bowls are associated with older people.

There are activities where age does not affect participation such as swimming, walking and playing golf. Age only limits the type of activity.

Ability

Ability will limit the level at which an activity is pursued.

Having a high ability in any sport means that there could be increased participation, which in itself can lead to improvement in performance.

Disability

Sport for people with disabilities has changed considerably, with governing bodies devising rules and activities suitable for all disabilities.

Gender

Fewer females pro rata take part in sport than males.

All the profile of women's sport has continued to grow over the past two or three decades, there are still obvious reasons why sport participation by women still falls short of that of men.

Physique

Women are still viewed as the fairer, weaker sex and some sports are deemed too dangerous for them.

Social Attitudes

Victorian attitudes that a woman's place is in the home continue to be prevalent even in today's society.

Role Models

For boys there are many role models in a wide range of sports. There are fewer role models for women.

Finance

Sportswomen receive only a fraction of the sponsorship that sportsmen receive.

Media Coverage

There is less media coverage of women's sport than there is of men's sport and so the profile of women in sport continues to remain low.

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