Bringing children closer to sport

Bringing children closer to sport

How sport support the development of the child? How to make sport activities popular for children and youths? Do we use sport as a tool for social inclusion, prevention, etc.

One of the most topical problems today is the preservation of the health of the young generation. This is a permanent, complex, dynamic and multi-driven process that occurs of particular natural and social environment. School physical education and sport is called upon to provide of their adolescents necessary. Health functional and motor development, preparation and competence for further self-cultivation practiceas a condition of maintaining good health and harmony. In this regard physical loading adequate motor activity lessons in physical education and sport in primary school is the basis of the full development and perfection of physiological systems and motor abilities of students. The main task of physical education and sport in primary school by the quality of education and social experience to assist and direct the adequate development of their motor abilities for complete and effective realization in life. Without high quality learning experiencenor health condition nor their own motor culture of students, nor to their value orientation for healthy lifestyle can be successfully achieved. With its specific peculiarities various forms of work (lesson and extracurricular) offer great opportunities for enrichment the motorics and construction of moral volitional and intellectual qualities of the students. The extent of their functional impact is related to the wealth of emotional movements in dynamic environment that significantly affect health and development of their motor skills.

What are the specific problems that today stand for settlement to the special institutions and society in relation to health andphysical activity of students in physical education and sport in primary school and which are prerequisites for the successful allowing? The more common problems relate to: 1.The body of the student is not hardened, not adapted to the adverse effects of the external environment. 2. In modern schools classes Bulgarian language and literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry occupy the greater part of the life of students. 3. Students are not getting enough sleep, missing their rest. 4. Much of the free time from school lessons students spend in front of the computer. 5. Arises permanent fatigue and deterioration of health of students, due to reduced physical activity.

The basic points from our research work, based on the project’s purposes and activities, aiming to find the current health (including their physical and psychic state) of children in Bulgaria relating to sports and to make conclusions and strategy how to optimize this process, we made these main conclusions:

Motor skills
Our experience with the work with children in age under 14 years old shows that although motor development is influenced by genetic factors and the circle, it may be affected by the exercises to increase motor skills in a higher degree.
All the physical preparation and playing of games during all phases of their organization affects in increasing of health level increasing of motor skills and – what is the main goal of every team –improving the quality of the game. In order to permanently control the realization of conditional training and its effects it is necessary the development of functional and motor skills of athletes, always to be checked and monitored which will ensure repetition cycles of successful training and achieved results.
Motor skills are a necessary precondition for any kind of human movement and for every sport event. Time length, intensity and number of repetitions of different movement structures, determine the importance of certain conditional skills.
Flexibility as psychomotor skills which is also under the influence of external and internal factors undergoes positive changes under the influence of kinesiology treatments in early childhood age.

Plasticity as part of the physical fitness of growing up children, is neglected. It is established, that stretching exercises, when performed at the preparatory and conclusive parts of physical education classes, have positive influence on 10-14 years old students.
Flexibility is one of the main components in the composition of the physical fitness of people. Optimal mobility of the joints, muscles and ligaments and tendons is a prerequisite for full expression of human potential engine. Not accidentally Ch. Chorbin (1980) defines it as the most important element of physical fitness. Amid the general lowering the level of physical fitness of adolescents, there is a formal relation to the development and maintenance of good motility of the organism of young children.
In scientific methodological literature exists consensus of the authors on key issues concerning the definition of the concept of flexibility down the basic tools and methods for its development. In practice, however, there are some problems and low efficiency in efforts to build the optimal level of flexibility for students for service of their motive practice and foundations of good health.

Nutrition and physical development
According to the National Centre of Public Health and Analysis (NCPHA) in Bulgaria, 200 000 children (or 20 % of the population) were overweight, of whom 65 000 were obesed, in 2008.
It is recommended that youngsters spend at least one hour per day engaged in light to moderatephysical activity, such as jogging, jumping, dancing and different kinds of sport.
The repeated physical activities require a propernutritional regimen, providing the right amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, maintaining energy intake and optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The recommended nutrient intake for children and adolescents who are engaged in extra physical activity is higher than that in ones who are not involved in sports. Child athletes need more protein than the recommended intake for those children who are not involved in physical activity.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has set the following daily recommendations of carbohydrates for young athletes:-for very light intensity training : 3-5grams (g) carbohydrates per kilogram (carb/kg);-for moderate or heavy training: 5-8g carb/kg;-for pre-event ‘loading’ (24-48 hours prior): 8-9g carb/kg;-for postevent refueling (within 2-3 hours): 1.7g carb/kg.

•The problem with the motivation is central for the educational–sports activity. By properly targeting the natural desire and need of young people in physical activity – with the means and methods of sport, improve motor skills and habits and strengthen their physical development.
•The nature and strength of motivation depends on the extent to sports training and education are a factor for personal growth and development. In the era of digitalization role of physical activity is essential for keeping and maintaining good psychical and physical being of the human body. Lack of physical activity and obesity in school age are prerequisites for the emergence of health problems in later period of human life. Sedentary lifestyle has consequences not only for physical health, but also for the psycho-social development, particularly in children. There has been a decline in physical activity, especially for 11-15 year olds. This is in line with increasing sedentary lifestyle associated with more frequent use of short-distance transport, leisure activities (such as watching movies, gaming, chatting, listening to music, talking on the phone, etc.). The most frequently cited factors such as obstacle to practice individual physical activity outside of school are lack of time, lack of financial resources, poor motivation, limited access to adequate facilities, inadequate educational support from parents.
•Physical activity becomes a mean to combat fatigue, stress and aggression among children and young people. In 10-12 age children are highly committed to physical development (skin, hair, breasts, muscles, etc.). Some difficulty in training in this age group stems from insufficient critical and relatively superficial perceptions, but with age they are improving and becoming more conscious volitional and purposeful character. Motivation is defined as a factor pointing to determinant of the behavior. The importance of pleasure and desire to practice a sport is manifested in better indicators of physical abilities at all ages.
•Engine refinement is not opposed to mental and spiritual, but is an expression of the correct and comprehensive politics of educational institutions increasingly using sport to the overall development of the child in all degrees of education. This dictates the need to optimize programs earlier systematic sports activities and targeted methods to improve motor ability.

Interrelationship between physical activity, fitness and health 
•Physical activity, physical fitness and health are in complicated interrelationships each other. Physical activity affects levels of fitness and conversely.The relationship between fitness and health is also in reciprocity. The level of fitness is determined by different factors -levels of physical activity, health genetic heritage and etc. The model describing this relationship is described by Bouchard and Shephard (1994). It is successfully accepted with International consensus statement on second physical activity, physical fitness and health international Symposium. According to the model genetic affect physical activity, fitness and health. There are different inherited levels of physical activity and components of health and fitness between people. The relationships between genes and environment from one side determines levels of fitness and physical activity. In other side different types, genes have different risk levels by ills connected with immobilization and low levels of physical fitness. Variability between physical fitness and physical activity is different in different people. The levels of physical activity in person can be different in a couple of days, but levels of fitness can be relatively constant.

The scientific optimization of sport training for body fortification
The aim of this article is to compare and contrast sport training in general and sport education in school in order to emphasizethe general differences and similarities between them. As a result of this approach, the role of physical exercise in both situations, the benefits bring to the human body in terms of an improved physical condition and health are discussed and underlined. The normal functioning of the human body in good conditions involves good health and is determined by the inner balance, which in turn submits to the movement, breathing, nutrition, circulation, excretion and reproduction functions. Generally speaking, physical condition involves the capacity of the human body to adequate its diverse reactions to the needs of the environment. The more tasks and activities a person is likely to accomplish, without fatigue affecting its physical state and energy resources, the healthier the person is. The improvement of the physical condition can be made through physical exercises, which is the main method of physical education and through the physical exercise characteristic of in sport training. Unlike physical education is addressed to a smaller number of people and represents the instructive / educational process which takes place systematically, conscientiously and continuously, it aims to adapt the human body to physical and psychological effort of very high intensity with the purpose of obtaining high performance sport objectives, in different sport branches. In comparison with physical education, it has a smaller number of physical exercises, but these represent specialized techniques. On the base of the analytical results, the vast majority of professionals in the domain who have considered that even though the effects of sport training do not appear right away, they have an effect in “the long run”. Motivated and responsible training based on principlesand rules always produce the desired effects.In conclusion -through a scientific optimization of exercises and of structures of exercises with a regular practice, adapted to personal variables and to high performance standards, we can agree with the Romanian writer Ioan Slavici who said that “Physical education is the art of realization of the human being”.

Sport for everybody
There are many facts and events which convince in benefit and applicability on system physical exercises and sports. Evolution of the human society is accompanied with improvement of physical education systems, in harmony in the connection between people and naturethrough physical improvement. Modern people are in a vicious circle: office – computer – car – elevator – sofa. Immobilization’s widespread disease because life without moving contrary of the laws of nature. It prevents the full development of a human body. It makes difficulties for the success form and realization of the person. The purposeful physical activity is a major factor for prevention of negative phenomens in modern times. We need new physical program and requirements for system effective classes and quality form of physical culture in preschool andschool age. The programs should be directed to application-oriented exercises with possibility for updating and improvements. New sports and physical tests are being created today, sometimes extreme in unusual, hard and dangerous conditions. They often combine with different motor skills. The fitness is health motor activity. It’s part of mass physical culture with regulated load like mass fitness aerobics. Fitness uses more oxygen. It’s used by muscle involves in the process of breathing, training, heart muscle, the muscles of the whole body. The body structure is important for the choice of physical preparation, exercises, the volume of training. The type of bones of every man is different – massive, average, thin. The bone types together with height set Body mass.People who train with power exercises are prone to get more weight, muscles. People with average and tiny bones get more easyharmony in body development.

Sport in the Context of Social Sciences
Sport – it is a social phenomenon which lies at the basis of motor skills and movements of people. The sport first is an element of culture and then it is a mean of physical education and then it is a game. The sport like the social phenomenon is systematic integrative in human activity. These two approaches are split in the sport for all (target -recreation, relaxing, a sport for people with disabilities, sport in school, junior sport, elite sport). The functions in the sport are: development of motor abilities, sports information, health care, develop mass sports activities, etc. Classification of sport depends on the resources and form in sports -competitive activity and models of training.
Sport has been a very important component of human existence for ages. It is a complex and colourful phenomenon which arousesthe intense interest of fans all over the world and which can be analysed from different points of view. Sport is definitely something more than pure entertainment. Anyone interested in sport should become familiar with the latest fruit of the work of the Polish scientists conducting research on different aspects of sports history and sociology. It is worth emphasizing that in Poland there are numerous scholars who have put sport at the centre of their scientific interests. This informative monograph is a collection of interesting papers which were presented during the first conference of the Polish Society of the Social Sciences of Sport, which took place in September 2011 in Targowiska near Rzeszów. The articles show the miscellaneous faces of sport, which corroborates the fact that there are numerousphenomena in sport worthy of scientific analysis. What should be emphasised is the high professional level of these works. To sum up, this gripping collection of articles covers considerable ground; it shows, up to a point, the recent research of Polish sports scientists and proves that some useful work is being done in Poland as far as the social sciences of sport are concerned.

Popular sports for children:

The tennis is very popular sport in many countries such as practiced by people of different ages. Tennis can be played by twoplayers (single) or four players (couples). The players use rackets to hit a ball over the net on the other side of playfield.The tennis is emotional game, because depending on the game situation it allows for infinite number of variants and solutions. Situations in which the player falls are different. Everything depends on the personality and style of the game that fits best the player. The pleasure of the game is learning new variants and hits and trying new techniques and productions.Health benefits of tennis:The tennis can be great workout, and also very fun hobby. Health benefits are:
Increase of aerobic capacity.
Increase of blood pressure.
Increase metabolic functions.
Raising the bone density.
Raising the body fats.
Raising the muscle tone, strength and flexibility.
Raising the speed of reactions.

The volleyball is a team game, completely to answer to its name –“flying ball”. Due to its specific specificities and comparative easy equipment on the place of game it’s easily accessible for people of all ages and professions. Can be practiced on the terrains with most different covering: court, grass, sand, artificial covering, wooden podium.The aim of the game is the ball to fall in the margin of the other team or frustrate actions of its players, as forced them to make a mistake. Implementation of individual elements of the technique are characterized by instantaneously touch to the ball, quick reactions, daring movements of small space, numerous rebounds of the necessary for the specific case height of place or after short the ground run, landing, plunges and roll over. Performed are large numbers of percussive movements with maximum or exactly measured strength. The diverse motor habits and actions of different coordination structure and intensity, to the development of all assist in main physical qualities: speed, force, endurance, flexibility and agility. Given the small size of the playing field and the limited number of touches the ball implementation of all elements of the technique and their varieties require maximum accuracy and purposefulness of actions.

Basketball is a great game where the contestants from both teams are striving to put the ball into the basket of opponent anymore times, a game that is captivating with their own simplicity and unpredictability, a game that forms physical qualities and psyches, a game that creates positive emotions, a game, that gives expanse to the individual initiative in achieving the collective goals. Functional preparation of the basketball player constitutes the basis of his locomotory preparedness. Specifics of the locomotory activity in basketball determines the advisability of the shared use in workout of exercise with different intensity with short-term and relatively long intervals of passive and active recreation. The variable nature of the game requires the rapid deployment of respiratory processes to their maximum magnitudes. Momentary high intensive work on interval method arouse to accumulation in the body of the products from the anaerobic break, which themselves act as a powerful stimulator of respiratory processes.

In modern football every action or movement is performed rapidly, dynamically and intensively when the situation requires. Rational and effective football gears only technique. In relation to this the main requirement would be to strive to learn the various technical as will be used inthe game. Education and training constitute a single educational process in which technical, tactical and physical preparation of the trainees is associated with the formation of ethical and moral volitional qualities. The main aim of this process is education of physically perfect, morallyclean and spiritually rich personalities. Therefore it’s not possible training to be viewed in isolation from education. They are two sides of the same process. The sport, football in particular, is activity that most educational impact of adolescents. Contrariwise, it most clearly revealed the essence of each of those dealing, allowing the coach actively and purposefully to guide the formation of positive and eliminating the negative traits of athletes.

To determine the leading motives determining the relationship of the children to their sports activities there are some factors that can motivate or de-motivate children and to influence directly on the effectiveness of the learning process. The factors are:
-Organization of the educational process
-Material and technical base
-Financial conditions and opportunities for children / parents
-Prospects for development
-The trainer and his professional and mentoring skills
-Social environment – climate in the group
Based on the above factors, it may be extracted the following recommendations:
Optimizing engine mode of people of all ages by practicing desirable sport is one way to counter the greatest morbidity and complex ecological environment.
The role of the teacher is huge – he can be a motivator for children or a demotivator for the efforts in the learning process. His skills should include: creating a relaxed atmosphere, creating a sense of control in training process, creating a friendly, open internal communication with children to promote conscientious executing of the exercises.
The general aim should be: Connecting mass, amateur sport, school sport, sport for everybody with the social dimensions and with the professional sport – as a tool for fighting social problems and bringing hope and opportunities for professional realization.

Other key points to the relation and our understanding how to optimize sports opportunities and how to bring sport closer to children and every ordinary citizen and society as whole, were based on researching over the models: Interrelations between physical activity, physical fitness and health, The model „Sport for everybody“, Sport in the Context of Social Sciences, The scientific optimization of sport training for body fortification, Which are the most popular sports for children and so on.

After we developed all these important models on theoretical level, after we made project-based questionnaire and survey researches among a lot of teachers and children in several Sofia schools, after we changed good practices and know-how during the project meetings, seminar, round tables and activities, we were able to make these important recommendations for urgent progress in the actual situation of children sport in Bulgaria:

Based on the above factors may be given the following recommendations:

  1. On a central level (Government sector, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Youth and Sports) – Optimizing engine mode of children and people of all ages by practicing desirable sport is one way to counter the greatest morbidity and complex ecological environment. More conditions for free sport, including sports festivals, contests, demonstrations, etc. Sports campaigns and engagement of famous people – many of them professional sportsmen – for various campaigns.
  1. Schools – What are the specific problems that today stand for settlement to the special institutions and society in relation to health and physical activity of students in physical education and sport in primary school and which are prerequisites for the successful allowing?

The more common problems are related to:

  • The body of the student is not hardened, not adapted to the adverse effects of the external environment.
  • In modern schools classes (Bulgarian language and literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry) occupy the greater part of the life of students.
  • Students are not getting enough sleep, missing their rest.
  • Much of the free time from school lessons students spend in front of the computer.
  • Arise of the permanent fatigue and deterioration of health of students, due to reduced physical activity.

The changes and democratization of social relations in our country imposed the need for a critical analysis of these contemporary issues search for ways to solve them. Made from review of literature and studies performed that students of school age attend classes at a reduced squad because often feels illness. The main reasons are lack of exercise and lack of systematic physical exercises, sports and quenching procedures combined with the actual poor diet. It is necessary to be developed by experts and put into practice appropriate exercise programs, filled with diverse forms, means and methods of work. Should not be underestimated and good material base, the variety of equipment and supplies. So it can be successfully performed relevant prevention and impact to improve physical activity and health status of students.

  1. The role of the teachers – they could be the main motivator or de-motivator for children. It is necessary to appear new models and efforts in the learning process where sport, physical and psychical exercises and prevention are much better included. Teacher’s influence should include enormous skills as creating a relaxed atmosphere, a sense of control in learning / training process, creating a friendly, open internal communication with children to promote being conscientious, individual relation (when needed), various role-games which develop children’ skills, etc. The school must be able to participate in city and state tournaments on various sports where students can demonstrate their sports skills (now many schools prefer not to participate because they want to save money and they don’t want children to miss classes). Schools must control and care for the quality of food and drinks of the children.

In this situation, initially in the teaching process in physical education and sport, the effort must be directed towards formation of vital motor skills and habits. In pedagogical plan this means to achieve functionally, motor and intellectual development of students, require specializing concrete actions by the teacher that provide needed for the purpose of staging of teaching and guideline of its impact. Achievement of educational result of the teaching of physical education and sport is necessary to carry out the relatively high functional basis which creases conditions for the development of motor abilities, the formation of the psychological and personal qualities. A substantial part of the contents of physical education is physical activity.

  1. Family level – increasing of informational campaigns for parents in a way that they will know all the positive features of sport and that they are be able to give personal example. Parents must control and care for the food and drinks of the children. They should care and restrict the time which children spare playing on the phone, tablet or computer or chatting in Internet.
  1. Sports clubs and Sports organizations – They should be more active in: attracting children through better conditions to train and compete; make intensive informational campaigns in internet and physically – in their local community; make various types of sports initiatives connected with their main activities – sports festivals, open days, charity tournaments, demonstrative events; Clubs and organizations should have connections on national and international level, connections with the authorities and sports ministry in order to participate in various projects; they should attract people and business from the community to help in the club’s / organization’s activities.
  1. Sports and social media – it is necessary more positive stories to be shown – for sportsmen who achieved some results, personal stories and interviews with them, best video moments – all this will give motivation and faith to the student – no matter if he will become a sportsman, or he will achieve success and wins out of sport…

Association Footura Bulgaria continues to work for sports values and sports development on local and international level. Following our vision that sport is the best tool for better physical culture, for fighting against depression, addictions, overweight, aggression etc. from 2013 – when we started – we executed several projects for children related exactly to the problem points of the current state. We believe that the active way of living, practicing of various sports on amateur level is the key for good sport education to children and youths and for mentally and physically healthier society – but only with the active support from the governing bodies, schools and the society.

Author: Emiliyan Metodiev


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