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Physical activity: a family affair
Physical activity: a family affair

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2 Socialisation into sport and physical activity

In an academic review of developing participation, Sports Coach UK states that ‘with the family identified as the first point of socialisation into sport (and ultimately into society) it is clear this is a key and underpinning aspect to the entire sport experience of young people’ (Bailey et al., 2010, p. 79).

There are many factors that contribute to when, if, and how a family socialises children into sport and physical activity, such as the amount of family time available to spend together, socio-economic status, parental interest in sport and physical activity, and the family structure. We will discuss some of these factors in more detail later in the course, however the overarching principle indicated by the Sports Coach UK Review is that ‘those who have family members involved in sport are more likely to be involved themselves’ (Bailey et al., 2010, p. 79).

Activity 1 Pinsent talks family

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Watch the video clip of Matthew Pinsent discussing his family. What role did Matthew’s family play in his introduction to sport and exercise? How do your experiences compare to Matthew’s? For example, consider the amount of time spent together as a family, socio-economic status, parental interest in their own and the children’s sporting activities. You may also consider the family structure or your own position in the family.

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Matthew Pinsent on family influences
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Matthew Pinsent describes neither of his parents as being sporty, other than his dad playing ‘the occasional game of squash’. However, he does describe them as always being physically active and encouraging an active lifestyle. The support described by Matthew is both material (parents drive him round, pay for kit) and attitudinal (they support his decisions and encourage him to be active). Matthew also felt that being the youngest of three siblings impacted on his physical condition (early development). The combination of all these factors contributed to his positive disposition to sport. You may have related some of these to your own situation.