Authors: Romero, F. (1,2) e Moreira, J. (3)

(1) Sport Science School of Rio Maior, Polytechnic Institute of Santarem
(2) Life Quality Research Centre
(3) Direção Geral da Educação



The role of Sport in building a better society is recognized by the different states of the European Union as it is associated with benefits for physical and psychological health, in addition to promoting socialization through the interaction it requires between participants within a regulated framework of standards. (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2013).

For younger people, practicing sports is crucial for acquiring fundamental motor skills for building motor literacy (Balyi et al., 2013; Dudley et al., 2017), for building their personality as it allows them to develop important psychological aspects such as resilience to adversity (Kaier et al., 2015), self-control (Duckworth & Gross, 2014) or self-confidence (Holt, N. & Neely, K., 2011). The development of social skills may also be attained because, during sporting interaction, values and codes of conduct are promoted and commitment towards colleagues, referees and opponents are required (Siedentop, D., 1994, 2002).

Providing young people with access to systematic, structured sporting practice, with sufficient volume and intensity so that they can enjoy all those benefits, has been a concern of sports policies. It is intended that a first contact with sports becomes a consolidated, systematic practice, with a growing bond that evolves in quantity and quality towards better performance or, at least, into a habit that remains throughout life (Balyi et al., 2013).

The models through which youth sport is implemented vary across different European countries, ranging from more liberal regimes with greater autonomy such as the Netherlands or Germany to more regulated regimes with less autonomy such as France and Spain (Hernández & Pardo, 2020). The very way in which the associative system relates to school sport may still differ significantly.

Exclusively school-based approaches, such as those followed by Nordic countries, allow us to guarantee considerable resources in the dynamics of the work carried out in schools, but weaken sporting results, due to the lack of a emphasis they present regarding the possibility of practitioners to follow a line related to performance (Bláquez , D. & Ramírez, F., 2010).

Exclusively sporting models, such as those used in Anglo-Saxon countries, are organized around federated sporting organization models. The school is just another context where the same model is applied (Bláquez, D. & Ramírez, F., 2010).


Read the full article in November 23 Newsletter