ADOLESCENT GIRLS (13-15 YEARS OLD) PARTICIPATION AND PERCEPTIONS OF 5X60 ACTIVITIES IN A COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL IN BLAENAU GWENT, SOUTH WALES: CASE STUDY REPORT
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Several researchers have continued to identify that a worryingly large number of adolescent girls are not participating in regular Physical Education. With the growing concern about health of the nation increasing, various policies and initiatives are being enforced by the government in order to encourage and sustain participation in adolescents. Under Sport Wales (SW) management, the 5x60 initiative was launched in September 2006 in Welsh Secondary schools, with the intention of achieving 60 minutes of sport five times a week as set by the Welsh Assembly Government. The aim of the current study was to explore adolescent girls’ perceptions and participation levels within 5x60 in a South Wales comprehensive school. The main objectives were to identify reasons and influences for participation and non-participation in physical activity, alongside identifying examples of good practise in 5x60 activities in which characteristics for participation occurred. This study adopted a single case study design, using open ended questions within three focus groups as its source of data collection. The focus groups were conducted included participants who were involved with swimming, netball and Monster Rebels dance 5x60 activities. An inductive and deductive content analysis was used, in which led to 3 key findings; Friends and social influences, relationship with the activity leader and personal fulfilment and competition involved with the 5x60 activities. The results of the study showed that participating with a friend and the relationship with the activity leader, both created a positive environment in which gave the adolescent girls reasons and motivation to continue participating. Personal fulfilment and competition also increased intrinsic motivation to participate as extrinsic rewards and succeeding through focusing on improvement helped them believe they were successful. The findings suggest that further research should look at and compare other schools within the local area of Blaenau Gwent and also to expand to other rural and cultural regions of South Wales.
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