Participation of Children in Organized Sports Activities During Preschool and Primary School Period: Research Overview

Ivica Iveković


The paper presents the results of previous research dealing with the participation of
preschool and elementary school children in organized sports activities. The paper
discusses the positive and negative impacts of participation in organized sports
activities on a child's health and wellbeing and whether free play or participation
in structured sports activities is better for a child's motor development. In addition,
it discusses how specific sports activities affect locomotor, manipulative and
conditioning abilities of children; how the same sports programs can differently
affect the development of diverse abilities in boys and girls and how the family and
its socio-economic status influence the involvement of children in organized sports
activities. Former studies have shown that a child's age influences involvement
in organized sports activities much more than a child's gender. Differences in
involvement in organized sports activities between boys and girls are almost
nonexistent. Gender differences are manifested when choosing sports activities.
Key words: gender differences; locomotor and manipulative abilities; preschool and
primary school children; structured sports activities; urban-rural differences

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