Article Text

Scholar sports participation according to age and sex of students from military schools
  1. A Marques,
  2. J Martins,
  3. F C da Costa
  1. Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal


Inside schools, scholar sports (SS) represent a good opportunity for students to be involved with physical activities (PA). In Portugal almost all schools promote extracurricular activities and students have the opportunity to engage in formal PA, oriented by a PE teacher. The aim of this study was to examine the sex and age differences in SS participation of students who attended military schools, and the association of SS and attitudes toward school and PE. A total of 505 boys (age 14±2 years) and 208 girls (age 14±2 years) participated in the study. The students were grouped in age categories of 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18. Questionnaires were used for data collection. To analyse the differences in SS participation according to age, the t test was used, and to compare sexes in each age group the authors used χ2. Cramer's V correlations were applied to identify the relationships between SS participation and attitudes toward school and PE. 93% of boys and 62% of girls reported to have participated in SS. Younger boys participated more than older boys in SS (p<0.001). Among girls, although the differences were also significant (p=0.009), the older ones reported to be involved in SS more than the younger. While the SS participation among boys tended to decrease, the opposite tendency was observed in girls. Comparing age groups according to sexes, more boys participated in SS than girls (10-12; 95% vs 42%; 13-15; 95% vs 65%; 16-18; 86% vs 73%) and statistical differences were observed in all age groups. There was not a significant correlation between SS and attitudes toward school and PE in either boys or girls. For this particular population, SS represent a good opportunity for students to engage in PA on a regular basis. Even though there were high percentages of participants in SS activities in both sexes, boys still were more involved than girls in all age groups, which means that the activities are better promoted among boys or that girls prefer to choose other types of activities in their leisure time. The increased number of girls participating in SS with age seems to indicate that the school ethos could have the strength to influence them while they are attending this type of school. It suggests that school could play an important role in promoting PA, by providing the activities and an ideal environment.

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