The role of informal sport in after-school physical activity

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    This chapter outlines research that is investigating the significance of changing forms of participation and considers the implications for after school physical activity. Internationally, patterns of participation in sport are changing. Despite significant and ongoing investment of public and private money into formal sporting structures, participation in formal competitive sports continues to stagnate or decline as more people seek less formal opportunities to engage in movement. Against the backdrop of broader societal change, participation in sport and physical activity is becoming less rule-bound, less concerned with formal performative sporting outcomes and more flexible to fit increasingly busy lifestyles. Participation is increasingly being individually negotiated to better match ability with performance expectations, to have a greater focus on health, restoration and the body, and to further enhance social connectivity. The chapter presents a literature-based analysis of informal participation and the associated learning that is relevant to young people’s involvement in physical activity and sport, now and in the future. In doing so it calls for a rethink about the types of physical activities that sustain people in movement, the skills, knowledge and understandings required to participate and discusses implications for those looking to develop effective after school physical activity programs that engage young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBefore- and After-School Physical Activity Programs
    Subtitle of host publicationFrameworks, Critical Issues and Underserved Populations
    EditorsRisto Marttinen, Erin Centeio, Thomas Quarmby
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003051909
    ISBN (Print)9780367509361
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • sport
    • physical education
    • child care
    • after school care
    • before school care
    • physical activity
    • wellbeing
    • health
    • movement
    • PE
    • HPE

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