Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Sport and Social Inclusion. Study of the Program "Segundo Tempo" in Feira De Santana, Bahia - Brazil

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Sport and Social Inclusion. Study of the Program "Segundo Tempo" in Feira De Santana, Bahia - Brazil

Article excerpt

Introduction

Evidence indicates that integrating sport as a permanent extracurricular activity in schools could produce advanced improvements on individuals' physical and social-emotional health, as well as on their academic well-being (Coastsworth, 2007). Social programs focusing on extracurricular activities "generally utilize a particular sport (eg: tennis, football, squash, baseball or basketball) in order to facilitate learning, and develop life skills in youth" (Perkins & Noam, 2007 p.75).

Rising levels of childhood obesity have led to a growing number of government-sponsored attempts to restrain the problem. In this regard, evidence suggests that "much of today's focus is on sports as main extracurricular activities" (Voss, Hosking, Metcalf, Jeffery, & Wilkin, 2008, p.470). This way, how well children and adolescents occupy their free time represents one of the most important factors to predict their development and success (Taliaferro, Rienzo & Donovan, 2010).

It is a fact that the occupation of free time with sport practices is seen as an opportunity to encourage healthy behaviors (Costa, 2006). However, one should take into consideration that as children grow up and no longer attend school, their participation in sport activities tends to reduce (Crombie, 1996). Thus, we recommend that conditions for the acquisition and maintenance of a physically active lifestyle be created (CONFEF, 2010; Kilpatrick, Hebert & Bartholomew, 2005).

Sposito and Corrochano (2005) indicate that the idea belling programs directed towards young individuals may comprise the compulsory school attendance, but it must also focus on individuals' necessary presence in social and educational activities. In addition, these programs must put great attention onto citizens' participation in actions for community engagement, which are generally offered by partner institutions responsible for implementing the program in different locations.

Elling (2005) suggests that the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion which influence sport participation and leadership form a complex constellation of factors. Questions such as who can participate and what is allowed in a particular sport activity are as highly influenced by institutional selection mechanisms citizens' singular choices. Socialization, available income, access to sport facilities, and sport skills interact with factors of exclusion, which then influence the choices of many people coming from various social status (such as age, gender, and ethnicity) to whether they want to practice a specific sport or not. Thus, changes in the process of selection and organization of sports can not only increase the number of participants in sport activities, but also promote broader social inclusion.

Mendes and Azevêdo (2010) compare the historical precariousness of physical education in schools to the growth of public policies regarding sports and leisure, and to sport social projects in Brazil. Although the target audience is the same - children and school-aged individuals - the objectives are very distinct. As a result, both authors analyze these policies in order to understand its functionality regarding sport and leisure. To do so, they performed a thorough review that allowed them to observe the path that had caused such growth. The results showed that, in the current socio-political-economic system, the use of sport and leisure sometimes occurs as a commodity - when considering its use as an ideological state apparatus (in and out of school).

According to Vianna and Lovisolo (2011), the ideological discourse present in the programs and policies of social inclusion through sport does not seem to involve the interest and retention of significant portions of the people registered to activities. Clearly, mere participation in sport activities directed towards professionalization, through sufficient training and participation in sport events, does not necessarily represent adherence to that activity. …

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