Sports participation styles revisited: a time-trend study in Belgium from the 1970s to the 2000s

J. Borgers, E. Thibaut, H. Vandermeerschen, B. Vanreusel, S.B. Vos, J. Scheerder

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    29 Citations (Scopus)
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    Social changes have been influencing determinants for sports participation since the introduction of the Sport for All ideology in the early 1970s. Consistent with Crum’s sportisation theory, today’s modes of sports practices, as well as the network of sport services, have diversified and de-traditionalised.

    As part of a research tradition, this contribution aims at analysing changes in sports participation styles in kinesiology students in Belgium during the past four decades (1972–2009). The distinct target group was supposed to fulfil a trend-setting role in the area of active sports participation. Data were obtained from a standardised retrospective questionnaire on leisure-time sports participation. Using standardised methods, Principal Component Analysis was used to identify patterns of sports participation. The results show a diversification of sports participation styles until the 1980s, followed by an intensification of basic style components since the 1990s. Sports participation styles between 1999 and 2009 are subdivided into multiple distinct traditional and non-traditional components, with growing emphasis on non-traditional, alternative practices. Newly observed components in 2009 are discussed in relation to previous time intervals and trends in sports participation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-63
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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