International Sports Studies
Published By Logos Verlag Berlin
This study compares the observations of younger and older generations relating to different traditional games played by the Kapampangans. It particularly focuses on five games namely Maro; Tambubung; Luksung Babi; Salikutan; and Barongganan Bola. These games have been known to emphasise the players’ speed and agility. A survey and follow up in-depth interviews were used to explore the differing observations and perspectives of thirty elders (aged 60 years and above) and fifty youngsters (aged 10- 18 years old) from different towns in Pampanga. The survey highlighted the fact that the majority of the games were now played in the streets compared with the past when they were played in fields. The follow-up interviews revealed that the terrain of the towns significantly contributed to the structure and rules of the game, and many variations were found in the names of the games which were taken from how the game was played. Further research is recommended to explore the differing perceptions from the two generations concerning the current status of traditional games in their community.
Lawn bowls is one of the oldest formally established British sports in Australia. This paper provides an overview of the place of lawn bowls in Australian history and society from 1864 to 2021 through four eras: British nationalism (1864–1900); middle class sport (1900–1945); leading seniors sport (1945–1990); and decline (1990–2021). The four eras cover the span of Australian lawn bowls and are based on historical data from both primary and secondary sources tracing its rise and decline. The decline in lawn bowls has been a combination of both internal and external factors. This paper is not a purely chronological account of lawn bowls, but rather provides a framework to better understand the place and role of the sport in Australian culture and society. The origins of lawn bowls in Australia are directly linked to the cultural heritage that stemmed from British settlement. Lawn bowls provides a vehicle to develop insight and understanding into several past, current, and future social and cultural issues including seniors sport, sport participation rates, gender relations, nationalism, class structures, urbanisation, and the development of contemporary cities.
Bridging the gap between sport science and coaching: A qualitative analysis of perceptions of South African coaches
There exists a wide gap between coaches’ needs and the information that is being disseminated by sport scientists. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine coaches’ perceptions concerning this bridging the knowledge gap between sport science and coaching in South Africa. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight high-performance sport coaches aged 24 to 42 years (M age = 33.50, SD = 6.44 years). Coaches participated in the study if they met the following selection criteria: (1) coaching a priority sport recommended by Sport and Recreation South Africa and (2) having been in coaching for at least five years at a high-performance level. Following a thematic analysis of the transcripts, the following three broad themes emerged: (1) sources of coaching knowledge, (2) barriers to sport science support, and (3) coaches’ thoughts about knowledge transfer. Recommendations on strategies to close the gap between sport scientists and coaches are provided.
Perceptions of their knowledge, practices and competence in sports injury prevention recognition and management by physical education teachers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
During a Physical Education (PE) class, students may encounter risks of injury. PE teachers, therefore, should possess competent knowledge and skill levels in sports injury prevention as well as good self-awareness of their abilities to manage any injury. This study aimed to evaluate the perceived knowledge, practices, and competence in the area of sports injury prevention, recognition, and management of PE teachers in Yogyakarta Special Province. The associations between PE teachers’ sociodemographic characteristics and their self-perceptions were also investigated. Subjects were Senior High School PE teachers who were willing to complete the questionnaire developed by the research team. 191 PE teachers voluntarily participated in the study. The results showed the lowest scores were found for: 1) the teachers’ practice in recording students’ medical history and assessing injury risk when starting a new academic year; 2) the teachers’ practice in evaluating the condition of first aid kits and Basic Life Support (BLS) devices; and 3) the teachers’ perceived competence in splinting. Only greater knowledge of the PRICE principle was associated with the teachers’ level of education and training experience and splinting competence with years of teaching. BLS training experience had the stronger association with perceptions of knowledge and skills in the recognition and treating of injuries.
This research aims to analyze the academic field of knowledge production on the theme of sport migration, highlighting the main authors, institutions, and countries of origin of the knowledge produced. For this, a systematic review was used in three key international databases. A total of 190 manuscripts were identified that dealt with the theme, and it was observed that the rate of knowledge production increased after the 1990s. It was also determined that the theme received important contributions from authors linked to UK institutions. It was concluded that the scientific field of the theme of sport migration has a centrality in English-speaking nations and European countries and could benefit from greater attention being paid to the knowledge output from peripheral countries or researchers from these locations.
The purpose of this study was to describe and compare health status, lifestyle behaviours, and well-being of athletes from three world regions competing in the 2018 Masters Field Hockey World Cup. A total of 465 athletes (180 men, 284 women, 1 other) from 21 countries, aged 35 to 76 years, completed the Health and Well-being of Masters Field Hockey Athletes survey. Most participants rated their health as “very good” or “excellent”, had no major health conditions nor medication use, had a healthy BMI, and experienced varying levels of stress. No significant differences between the regions were found in health status. Participants had healthy dietary habits overall, with significant differences between the regions in fruit, vegetable, and water consumption. Most participants reported ≥7 hours of sleep per night and varying amounts of restless sleep. Just under half of the participants reported sitting five or more hours per day, with no significant differences between the regions. While significant differences were found in exercise frequency, participants across all regions were physically active. Participants reported high levels of flourishing, with some significant differences found between the regions. While some regional differences were found, International Masters field hockey athletes in general practise healthy lifestyle behaviours and reported excellent overall health and well-being.
That was the year that was! 2021 seemingly arrived just yesterday and now we are shortly to bid it farewell. I hailed its predecessor as heralding the hope for a new clarity of vision – the start of a new decade which promised much. However, I have become reminded that perfect 20/20 vision in the present may not necessarily lead to reliable predictions for the future. Further I have immediately been taken back to my undergraduate days and the unforgettable words of the great poet T. S Eliot in his poem Burnt Norton – the first of the four Quartets Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present They are words that seem to ring particularly true not only to anyone contemplating their remorselessly advancing years and reflecting on a career nearing completion, but they also seem particularly apposite for the experiences of the last two years. The pandemic started by destroying our expectations and predictions for what lay ahead. It ensured that our best laid plans for our immediate futures would remain unfulfilled and thus unredeemable. Subsequently during the year, we were left to speculate as to our future pathways - not only with regard to our professional activities, but also concerning our personal and family relationships – with a whole world of separation between ourselves and those of our kith and kin domiciled in distant lands. Though for some it may have been no more than a regional border! Such forced isolation caused many of us to think backwards as well, reflecting on our past trajectories and recalling both mistakes and successes alike. Yet for many it became a time to substitute the incessant demands of work and its associated travel and busy-ness with former and forgotten pleasures. Leisurely walks with friends and family, the rediscovering of rhythms and tempos unimpeded by the daily demands of our diaries and other extraneous demands on our time that had required us to respond immediately and forgo the immediate needs of the surroundings and people closest to us. Above all, with the future in limbo and the past re-emerging in our minds, it reinforced the realisation that the present is what we really have, and it contains what is most important. For a time, the incessant chatter and noise of the media retained our attention, just as it had dominated our attention at the end of 2019. Yet, somehow during the year, the hype and frenzied reporting seems to have diminished in impact. This was nowhere more evident than in the responses to COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK. Items in the press came thick and fast leading up to the event: predictions of planetary doom; political conflicts were highlighted as world leaders met or didn’t meet on the conference stage; appearances by the celebrities of the world; demonstrations aplenty. All of this breathless activity faded imperceptibly out of our consciousness as the serious (but more boring?) negotiations between nations started to take place, with much of the brilliance of the limelight now exhausted. The anticlimactic conclusion was judged by Boris Johnson, the chair and among the most optimistic of politicians, as achieving a 6 out of 10. Several positive outcomes were identified such as: commitments to end deforestation; a global methane pledge; a socalled ‘Breakthrough Agenda’, which committed countries to work together to accelerate the clean energy transition. Yet predictably, this was labelled by the critics and activists as too little too late. Although there are many who would see climate crisis as the major crisis that faces us – there are many other current crises of even more pressing and immediate concern to very many of us. The most urgent of which, would depend upon your own circumstances and where you might find yourself in the world. Examples from recent media would include: the loss of previously taken for granted freedoms in Hong Kong; increased fears for personal safety and the prospect of hunger and poverty in Afghanistan; the loss of political freedoms and the prospects of war in Belarus and the Ukraine; the prospect of secession leading to renewed civil war in Serbia; another military coup in Sudan; civil unrest in Cuba, etc etc.. On a global scale the movement of people leaving failed states and war-torn areas looking for the chance to make a better future, has continued to increase on a scale that the world is quite unable to manage. Sadly, even in the countries that are eagerly sought as destinies, there seem to be endless stories of strife, anxiety and anger to be told. The Economist provides the example of France, the ninth largest economy in the world with the 20th largest population of 67+ million. This pillar of Europe is facing a presidential election. Far from rejoicing in its prosperity, stability and proud history – the mood is sombre. Tune in to any French prime time talk show this autumn, and discussion rages over the country’s wretched decline. France is losing its factories and jobs, squeezing incomes and small businesses, destroying its landscapes and language, neglecting its borders and squandering its global stature. Its people are fractious and divided, if not on the verge of a civil war, as a public letter from retired army officers suggested earlier this year. At the second presidential primary debate for the centre-right Republicans party, on November 14th, the five candidates competed with each other to chronicle French disaster. Listen to the hard right, and it is “the death of France as we know it”. The anxiety is widespread. In a recent poll 75% agreed that France is “in decline”. When asked to sum up their mood in another survey, the French favoured three words: uncertainty, worry and fatigue. So, we are entitled to ask, what is happening in the world as we contemplate the path out of Covid? Should we not be expecting some feeling of optimism and gratitude that modern medicine has provided a way forward out of the pandemic through vaccination and new medical treatments? We should be putting the trials and tribulations of the pandemic behind us, embracing the lessons we have learnt and anticipating the benefits of the reassessments and recalibrations we have undergone over the last two years. Yet instead, we seem to be facing re-entry into a world of strife and dissension. It is a view that that would seem to encourage retreat into the comfort of a limited and familiar space, rather than striking out confidently and optimistically. So, to return to Eliot – perhaps we need to be reminded that the present is all we have. We will only be able to experience our future when we arrive there. Therefore, the pathway we choose to it, should be as smooth, rich and rewarding as possible. It should not be characterised by hedonism but rather by enhancing rather than diminishing the future. Every moment spent devaluing either our future or our past, is a moment that further undermines our present. This last point is particularly true when we fail to see our present in the context of both our past and future. One of the major contributions to this current angst within our societies, appears to be the cultural wars being waged by the warriors of WOKE. Passing judgements on figures from a previous time, without a clear understanding of the context in which they operated makes absolutely no sense. It is akin to a capital punishment abolitionist vilifying the heroes of the French Revolution for allowing Madame Guillotine to be the agent of their retribution against the aristocracy. So, it is with defacing statues of those who lived and acted in far different times and were the product of the dominant values and beliefs of that time. It is indeed an act of vandalism. If we remove all evidence of the history to which such people belonged, how can we expect to learn from that time and ensure that the world does indeed move forward? Although we are talking about the context provided by time – this is equally true of all the contexts in which we currently find ourselves. It is impossible to understand human behaviour without knowing and understanding the context in which it occurs. This is a key principle of the science of human behaviour. Alas it is a principle that has been neglected in the sport sciences in recent years. Whereas research into the physiology, psychology and biomechanics of sport has flourished, too often it is reported in a way that fails to adequately take account of the context in which it occurs. It is why so many findings are ungeneralisable and remain in the laboratory rather than making the journey out onto the playing field of life. Understanding the history and the social context within which sport is practised is essential if scientists and professionals are going to be able to make comparisons between findings gained in different settings. Comparative studies in sport and physical education play an important role in enabling knowledge and understanding about these institutions to be widely shared. Our journal therefore has an important role to play in the development and sharing of knowledge and understanding between scientists and professionals in different settings. This is a role that has been filled by our journal over the last forty-three years. I am pleased to be able to report that the society (ISCPES), following a break of four years in activity, will be meeting again at the end of this year. The meeting which can be attended online will be hosted by Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education in India. Details are provided in this edition, and I commend this important meeting to you. That there is an interest and demand in comparative and international studies is clear from the number of submissions we have been receiving for our journal. The chance to meet with fellow researchers and colleagues in real time, if not actually face to face, is to be welcomed. It is my fervent hope that this will lead to continuing growth in interest in our multidiscipline and internationally focused field. I congratulate the organisers for their initiative. I would also like to pay tribute to former president Dr Walter Ho of the University of Macau, for his role in this as well as for his continuing support of our journal. So, I come to commend to you the contributions of this latest volume. They come from four different continents and as such provide a representative cross section of our readership. The topics about which they write give an example of the range of understanding and practices that can usefully be shared amongst us. In our first paper Croteau, Eduljee and Murphy report on the health, lifestyle behaviours and well-being of international Masters field hockey athletes. The Masters sport movement provides an important example of why sport represents a solid investment in assisting individuals to commit to health supporting physical activity across the lifespan. The study is particularly interesting, as it provides evidence of the broader sense of wellbeing to be gained by ongoing participation and also the fact that this benefit seems to apply even in the geographic and culturally different environments provided by life in Europe, North America and, Asia and the Pacific. Our second paper by Kubayi, Coopoo and Toriola addresses a familiar problem – the breakdown in communication between researchers and scientists in sport and the coaches who work with the athletes. The context for this study is provided by elite performance level sport in South Africa and the sports of soccer, athletics, hockey and netball. It is concluded that the sports scientists and academics need to be encouraged to make their work more available by presenting it more frequently face to face during coaching workshops, seminars, clinics and conferences. However, the caveat is that this needs to be done in a way that is understandable, applicable and relevant to helping the coach make effective decisions and solve problems in a way that benefits the athletes as the end product. A team of medical and pedagogical scientists from Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia provide the Asian input to this volume. They raise a concern over the issue of safety and risk in physical education and how well specialists in the subject are prepared in the area of sport injury management. Hidayat, Sakti, Putro, Triannga, Farkhan, Rahayu and Magetsari collaborated in a survey of 191 physical education teachers. They concluded that there was a need for better and more sustained teacher education on this important topic. PE teacher training should not only upgrade teachers’ knowledge but also increase their self-perceptions of competence. PE teachers should be provided with enhanced training on sports injuries and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills, in order to improve the safety and maximize the benefits of PE classes. It is a finding that could usefully be compared with current practices in other countries and settings, given the common focus in the PE lesson on children performing challenging tasks in widely varying contexts. Our final paper by Rojo, Ribeiro and Starepravo takes a very much broader perspective. Sport migration is a relatively new, specialised but expanding field in sports studies. This paper is however significant not for what it can tell us about current knowledge in sport migration, but rather in what it tells us about the way knowledge is gathered and disseminated in a specialist area such as this. Building on the ideas of Bourdieu, they demonstrate how the field of knowledge is shaped by the key actors in the process and how these key actors serve to gather and use their academic capital in that process. As such fields of knowledge can become artificially constricted in both the spaces and cultures in which they develop. The authors highlight a very real problem in the generation and transmission of academic knowledge, and it is one that International Sports Studies is well positioned to address. In conclusion, may I encourage you in sharing with these papers to actively engage in reflecting on the importance of the varying contexts these authors bring and how sensitivity to this can enlarge and deepen our own practices and understanding. John Saunders Brisbane, November 2021
It was the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan who first introduced the term ‘global village’ into the lexicon, almost fifty years ago. He was referring to the phenomenon of global interconnectedness of which we are all too aware today. At that time, we were witnessing the world just opening up. In 1946, British Airways had commenced a twice weekly service from London to New York. The flight involved one or two touch downs en-route and took a scheduled 19 hours and 45 minutes. By the time McLuhan had published his book “Understanding media; the extensions of man”, there were regular services by jet around the globe. London to Sydney was travelled in just under 35 hours. Moving forward to a time immediately pre-covid, there were over 30 non-stop flights a day in each direction between London and New York. The travel time from London to Sydney had been cut by a third, to slightly under 22 hours, with just one touchdown en-route. The world has well and truly ‘opened up’. No place is unreachable by regular services. But that is just one part of the picture. In 1962, the very first live television pictures were transmitted across the Atlantic, via satellite. It was a time when sports’ fans would tune in besides a crackling radio set to hear commentary of their favourite game relayed from the other side of the world. Today of course, not only can we watch a live telecast of the Olympic Games in the comfort of our own homes wherever the games are being held, but we can pick up a telephone and talk face to face with friends and relatives in real time, wherever they may be in the world. To today’s generation – generation Z – this does not seem in the least bit remarkable. Indeed, they have been nicknamed ‘the connected generation’ precisely because such a degree of human interconnectedness no longer seems worth commenting on. The media technology and the transport advances that underpin this level of connectedness, have become taken for granted assumptions to them. This is why the global events of 2020 and the associated public health related reactions, have proved to be so remarkable to them. It is mass travel and the closeness and variety of human contact in day-to-day interactions, that have provided the breeding ground for the pandemic. Consequently, moving around and sharing close proximity with many strangers, have been the activities that have had to be curbed, as the initial primary means to manage the spread of the virus. This has caused hardship to many, either through the loss of a job and the associated income or, the lengthy enforced separation from family and friends – for the many who find themselves living and working far removed from their original home. McLuhan’s powerful metaphor was ahead of its time. His thoughts were centred around media and electronic communications well prior to the notion of a ‘physical’ pandemic, which today has provided an equally potent image of how all of our fortunes have become intertwined, no matter where we sit in the world. Yet it is this event which seems paradoxically to have for the first time forced us to consider more closely the path of progress pursued over the last half century. It is as if we are experiencing for the first time the unleashing of powerful and competing forces, which are both centripetal and centrifugal. On the one hand we are in a world where we have a World Health Organisation. This is a body which has acted as a global force, first declaring the pandemic and subsequently acting in response to it as a part of its brief for international public health. It has brought the world’s scientists and global health professionals together to accelerate the research and development process and develop new norms and standards to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and help care for those affected. At the same time, we have been witnessing nations retreating from each other and closing their borders in order to restrict the interaction of their citizens with those from other nations around the world. We have perceived that danger and risk are increased by international travel and human to human interaction. As a result, increasingly communication has been carried out from the safety and comfort of one’s own home, with electronic media taking the place of personal interaction in the real world. The change to the media dominated world, foreseen by McLuhan a half century ago, has been hastened and consolidated by the threats posed by Covid 19. Real time interactions can be conducted more safely and more economically by means of the global reach of the internet and the ever-enhanced technologies that are being offered to facilitate that. Yet at a geopolitical level prior to Covid 19, the processes of globalism and nationalism were already being recognised as competing forces. In many countries, tensions have emerged between those who are benefitting from the opportunities presented by the development of free trade between countries and those who are invested in more traditional ventures, set in their own nations and communities. The emerging beneficiaries have become characterised as the global elites. Their demographic profile is one associated with youth, education and progressive social ideas. However, they are counter-balanced by those who, rather than opportunities, have experienced threats from the disruptions and turbulence around them. Among the ideas challenged, have been the expected certainties of employment, social values and the security with which many grew up. Industries which have been the lifeblood of their communities are facing extinction and even the security of housing and a roof over the heads of self and family may be under threat. In such circumstances, some people may see waves of new immigrants, technology, and changing social values as being tides which need to be turned back. Their profile is characterised by a demographic less equipped to face such changes - the more mature, less well educated and less mobile. Yet this tension appears to be creating something more than just the latest version of the generational divide. The recent clashes between Republicans and Democrats in the US have provided a very potent example of these societal stresses. The US has itself exported some of these arenas of conflict to the rest of the world. Black lives Matter and #Me too, are social movements with their foundation in the US which have found their way far beyond the immediate contexts which gave them birth. In the different national settings where these various tensions have emerged, they have been characterised through labels such as left and right, progressive and traditional, the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have nots’ etc. Yet common to all of this growing competitiveness between ideologies and values is a common thread. The common thread lies in the notion of competition itself. It finds itself expressed most potently in the spread and adoption of ideas based on what has been termed the neoliberal values of the free market. These values have become ingrained in the language and concepts we employ every day. Thus, everything has a price and ultimately the price can be represented by a dollar value. We see this process of commodification around us on a daily basis. Sports studies’ scholars have long drawn attention to its continuing growth in the world of sport, especially in situations when it overwhelms the human characteristics of the athletes who are at the very heart of sport. When the dollar value of the athlete and their performance becomes more important than the individual and the game, then we find ourselves at the heart of some of the core problems reported today. It is at the point where sport changes from an experience, where the athletes develop themselves and become more complete persons experiencing positive and enriching interactions with fellow athletes, to an environment where young athletes experience stress and mental and physical ill health as result of their experiences. Those who are supremely talented (and lucky?) are rewarded with fabulous riches. Others can find themselves cast out on the scrap heap as a result of an unfair selection process or just the misfortune of injury. Sport as always, has proved to be a mirror of life in reflecting this process in the world at large, highlighting the heights that can be climbed by the fortunate as well as the depths that can be plumbed by the ill-fated. Advocates of the free-market approach will point to the opportunities it can offer. Figures can show that in a period of capitalist organised economies, there has been an unprecedented reduction in the amount of poverty in the world. Despite rapid growth in populations, there has been some extraordinary progress in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Between 1990 and 2010, the numbers in poverty fell by half as a share of the total population in developing countries, from 43% to 21%—a reduction of almost 1 billion people (The Economist Leader, June 1st, 2013). Nonetheless the critics of capitalism will continue to point to an increasing gap between the haves and don’t haves and specifically a decline in the ‘middle classes’, which have for so long provided the backbone of stable democratic societies. This delicate balance between retreating into our own boundaries as a means to manage the pandemic and resuming open borders to prevent economic damage to those whose businesses and employment depend upon the continuing movement of people and goods, is one which is being agonised over at this time in liberal democratic societies around the world. The experience of the pandemic has varied between countries, not solely because of the strategies adopted by politicians, but also because of the current health systems and varying social and economic conditions of life in different parts of the world. For many of us, the crises and social disturbances noted above have been played out on our television screens and websites. Increasingly it seems that we have been consuming our life experiences in a world dominated by our screens and sheltered from the real messiness of life. Meanwhile, in those countries with a choice, the debate has been between public health concerns and economic health concerns. Some have argued that the two are not totally independent of each other, while others have argued that the extent to which they are seen as interrelated lies in the extent to which life’s values have themselves become commodified. Others have pointed to the mental health problems experienced by people of all ages as a result of being confined for long periods of time within limited spaces and experiencing few chances to meet with others outside their immediate household. Still others have experienced different conditions – such as the chance to work from home in a comfortable environment and be freed from the drudgery of commuting in crowded traffic or public transport. So, at a national/communal level as well as at an individual level, this international crisis has exposed people to different decisions. It has offered, for many, a chance to recalibrate their lives. Those who have the resources, are leaving the confines of the big capital cities and seeking a healthier and less turbulent existence in quieter urban centres. For those of us in what can be loosely termed ‘an information industry’, today’s work practices are already an age away from what they were in pre-pandemic times. Yet again, a clear split is evident. The notion of ‘essential industries’ has been reclassified. The delivery of goods, the facilitation of necessary purchase such as food; these and other tasks have acquired a new significance which has enhanced the value of those who deliver these services. However, for those whose tasks can be handled via the internet or offloaded to other anonymous beings a readjustment of a different kind is occurring. So to the future - for those who have suffered ill-health and lost loved ones, the pandemic only reinforces the human priority. Health and well-being trumps economic health and wealth where choices can be made. The closeness of human contact has been reinforced by the tales of families who have been deprived of the touch of their loved ones, many of whom still don’t know when that opportunity will be offered again. When writing our editorial, a year ago, I little expected to be still pursuing a Covid related theme today. Yet where once we were expecting to look back on this time as a minor hiccough, with normal service being resumed sometime last year, it has not turned out to be that way. Rather, it seems that we have been offered a major reset opportunity in the way in which we continue to progress our future as humans. The question is, will we be bold enough to see the opportunity and embrace a healthier more equitable more locally responsible lifestyle or, will we revert to a style of ‘progress’ where powerful countries, organisations and individuals continue to amass increased amounts of wealth and influence and become increasingly less responsive to the needs of individuals in the throng below. Of course, any retreat from globalisation as it has evolved to date, will involve disruption of a different kind, which will inevitably lead to pain for some. It seems inevitable that any change and consequent progress is going to involve winners and losers. Already airline companies and the travel industry are putting pressure on governments to “get back to normal” i.e. where things were previously. Yet, in the shadow of widespread support for climate activism and the extinction rebellion movement, reports have emerged that since the lockdowns air pollution has dropped dramatically around the world – a finding that clearly offers benefits to all our population. In a similar vein the impossibility of overseas air travel in Australia has resulted in a major increase in local tourism, where more inhabitants are discovering the pleasures of their own nation. The transfer of their tourist and holiday dollars from overseas to local tourist providers has produced at one level a traditional zero-sum outcome, but it has also been accompanied by a growing appreciation of local citizens for the wonders of their own land and understanding of the lives of their fellow citizens as well as massive savings in foregone air travel. Continuing to define life in terms of competition for limited resources will inevitably result in an ever-continuing run of zero-sum games. Looking beyond the prism of competition and personal reward has the potential to add to what Michael Sandel (2020) has termed ‘the common good’. Does the possibility of a reset, offer the opportunity to recalibrate our views of effort and reward to go beyond a dollar value and include this important dimension? How has sport been experiencing the pandemic and are there chances for a reset here? An opinion piece from Peter Horton in this edition, has highlighted the growing disconnect of professional sport at the highest level from the communities that gave them birth. Is this just another example of the outcome of unrestrained commodification? Professional sport has suffered in the pandemic with the cancelling of fixtures and the enforced absence of crowds. Yet it has shown remarkable resilience. Sport science staff may have been reduced alongside all the auxiliary workers who go to make up the total support staff on match days and other times. Crowds have been absent, but the game has gone on. Players have still been able to play and receive the support they have become used to from trainers, physiotherapists and analysts, although for the moment there may be fewer of them. Fans have had to rely on electronic media to watch their favourites in action– but perhaps that has just encouraged the continuing spread of support now possible through technology which is no longer dependent on personal attendance through the turnstile. Perhaps for those committed to the watching of live sport in the outdoors, this might offer a chance for more attention to be paid to sport at local and community levels. Might the local villagers be encouraged to interrelate with their hometown heroes, rather than the million-dollar entertainers brought in from afar by the big city clubs? To return to the village analogy and the tensions between global and local, could it be that the social structure of the village has become maladapted to the reality of globalisation? If we wish to retain the traditional values of village life, is returning to our village a necessary strategy? If, however we see that today the benefits and advantages lie in functioning as one single global community, then perhaps we need to do some serious thinking as to how that community can function more effectively for all of its members and not just its ‘elites’. As indicated earlier, sport has always been a reflection of our society. Whichever way our communities decide to progress, sport will have a place at their heart and sport scholars will have a place in critically reflecting the nature of the society we are building. It is on such a note that I am pleased to introduce the content of volume 43:1 to you. We start with a reminder from Hoyoon Jung of the importance of considering the richness provided by a deep analysis of context, when attempting to evaluate and compare outcomes for similar events. He examines the concept of nation building through sport, an outcome that has been frequently attributed to the conduct of successful events. In particular, he examines this outcome in the context of the experiences of South Africa and Brazil as hosts of world sporting events. The mega sporting event that both shared was the FIFA world cup, in 2010 and 2014 respectively. Additional information could be gained by looking backwards to the 1995 Rugby World Cup in the case of South Africa and forward to the 2016 Olympics with regard to Brazil. Differentiating the settings in terms of timing as well as in the makeup of the respective local cultures, has led Jung to conclude that a successful outcome for nation building proved possible in the case of South Africa. However, different settings, both economically and socially, made it impossible for Brazil to replicate the South African experience. From a globally oriented perspective to a more local one, our second paper by Rafal Gotowski and Marta Anna Zurawak examines the growth and development, with regard to both participation and performance, of a more localised activity in Poland - the Nordic walking marathon. Their analysis showed that this is a locally relevant activity that is meeting the health-related exercise needs of an increasing number of people in the middle and later years, including women. It is proving particularly beneficial as an activity due to its ability to offer a high level of intensity while reducing the impact - particularly on the knees. The article by Petr Vlček, Richard Bailey, Jana Vašíčková XXABSTRACT Claude Scheuer is also concerned with health promoting physical activity. Their focus however is on how the necessary habit of regular and relevant physical activity is currently being introduced to the younger generation in European schools through the various physical education curricula. They conclude that physical education lessons, as they are currently being conducted, are not providing the needed 50% minimum threshold of moderate to vigorous physical activity. They go further, to suggest that in reality, depending on the physical education curriculum to provide the necessary quantum of activity within the child’s week, is going to be a flawed vision, given the instructional and other objectives they are also expected to achieve. They suggest implementing instead an ‘Active Schools’ concept, where the PE lessons are augmented by other school-based contexts within a whole school programme of health enhancing physical activity for children. Finally, we step back to the global and international context and the current Pandemic. Eric Burhaein, Nevzt Demirci, Carla Cristina Vieira Lourenco, Zsolt Nemeth and Diajeng Tyas Pinru Phytanza have collaborated as a concerned group of physical educators to provide an important international position statement which addresses the role which structured and systematic physical activity should assume in the current crisis. This edition then concludes with two brief contributions. The first is an opinion piece by Peter Horton which provides a professional and scholarly reaction to the recent attempt by a group of European football club owners to challenge the global football community and establish a self-governing and exclusive European Super League. It is an event that has created great alarm and consternation in the world of football. Horton reflects the outrage expressed by that community and concludes: While recognising the benefits accruing from well managed professionalism, the essential conflict between the values of sport and the values of market capitalism will continue to simmer below the surface wherever sport is commodified rather than practised for more ‘intrinsic’ reasons. We conclude however on a more celebratory note. We are pleased to acknowledge the recognition achieved by one of the members of our International Review Board. The career and achievements of Professor John Wang – a local ‘scholar’- have been recognised in his being appointed as the foundation E.W. Barker Professor in Physical Education and Sport at the Nanyang Technological University. This is a well-deserved honour and one that reflects the growing stature of the Singapore Physical Education and Sports Science community within the world of International Sport Studies. John Saunders Brisbane, June 2021
Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of physical activity. An international position statement
Since its appearance at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 in Wuhan (China), the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly worldwide. The outbreak was declared a pandemic in March 2020. Home confinement, travel restrictions, the closing of venues for exercise and recreation, and the cancellation of indoor and outdoor events including sport have been characteristic features of the public health responses around the world. The result has been a reduction in the levels of physical activity experienced by large numbers of the world population of all ages. This has caused considerable alarm for physical activity professionals around the world. In response, this position statement makes a case for the importance of continuing to embrace regular physical activity alongside the existing public health strategies that are being implemented in the management of the effects of the virus internationally. To be consistent with these policies this activity should always be away from others (application of social distancing) and preferably outdoors. Some potential benefits specific to the current situation, are suggested by reference to existing knowledge about the significance of exercise in the maintenance of a healthy immune system. However, these recommendations need to be viewed primarily within an unchanging context of the long-term value of healthy levels of physical activity for population well-being and quality of life. This has been made the more important on account of the potential harmful effects of the current reduced levels. Some recommendations for appropriate dosage and types of PA for those with different conditions are provided.
Mega-Sporting events and the politics of nation-building: a comparison of the 2010 South African and the 2014 and 2016 Brazilian cases
It is widely acknowledged that mega-sporting events play a powerful role in nationbuilding in their host countries, and many scholars have empirically demonstrated this relationship. The 2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup provided a potent vehicle through which national unity and integration could be successfully promoted. However, more recent Brazilian experiences in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics proved that an identical outcome is not always the case. This study examines how the hosting of mega-sporting events in South Africa and Brazil yielded contrasting effects on nation-building. Events in these two countries are compared to explore how two analogous societies that hosted mega-sporting events at a similar time ultimately experienced completely different outcomes. It is argued that differences in the cost of these mega-events, different economic circumstances and, differences in the characteristics and impact of social movements in the two countries were major contributing factors to the divergence.