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When do adults have the time to play sports?

Copyrights: Creative Commons

When do adults have the time to play sports?

Have we been forgetting a group of people in the sport and development sector?

As the sport and development sector gains momentum, the number of projects is growing. Topics such as health, education, vocational training, gender and other similar areas are all included in the discussions. Inclusion is often viewed as a cross-cutting topic that is incorporated into different projects.  

However, one part of inclusion is little mentioned: those who no longer fall under the children or youth age groups. Those who no longer attend school and have to work or take care of children may not have access to community sports programmes and seem to be forgotten. Most adults live on a routine and have fewer activities outside work or home in comparison to younger people.  

As an example, consider a man in his forties, who has lost his job and is at home trying to figure out his next step. He has a family and has his daily chores but not so much disposable income, so cannot join a gym. His options may be to walk in the park – assuming there is a park where he lives. Sport activities with others could improve his health, social life, mood and morale – yet he is at an age where it is difficult to start a new sport and his financial situation creates an additional barrier to doing so.

Many people have already thought about this and have taken the initiative to organise groups such as mothers’ walking groups or neighbourhood soccer teams aimed at that age group. These people realise the importance of sport and have taken the time to bring it back to life.

According to a study by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, a survey found that: “Participation in sport is also higher among younger people, those with a car, students and those in higher income bands.”

It also showed that, “People in managerial positions tend to take part in sport more frequently than those in other socio-economic groups.”

So what can we learn? That adults in low socio-economic groups do not participate in sport and also that adults who participated in a sport as children are more likely to participate as adults. While focusing on children and young people is therefore important, we should not forget those who did not have the opportunity to develop that lifelong habit during childhood or those who have lost the habit now the pressures of adult life have gotten in the way. After all, we all need sport.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 10:11