Youth Sport Policy in Austria. Analysis and Development of Quality Indicators at National Level


Master's Thesis, 2015
169 Pages, Grade: 1,8

Excerpt

Content

Abstract

Directory of Figures

Directory of Tables

Abbreviation

1. Introduction
1.1 Relevance of the Research Problem
1.2 Purpose Statement
1.3 Structure

2. Literature Review
2.1 Youth Sport and Sport Policy
2.2 Status Quo Health Situation of Austrian Youth
2.3 Youth Sport System and Politics in Austria
2.4 Youth Sport at European Level
2.4.1 Health and Sport Situation
2.4.2 Youth Sport at European Level
2.4.3 Germany
2.4.4 Finland

3. Theoretical Framework
3.1 Definitions
3.2 Sports Policy – Theoretical Approach
3.3 Quality Management
3.4 Quality Management in Sport and Non-Profit Organizations

4. Research Questions

5. Methodology
5.1 Research Design and Method
5.2 Data Collection and Analysis
5.2.1 Data Collection
5.2.2 Interview Processes
5.2.3 Data Analysis
5.3 Development of the Guideline for the Semi-structured Interviews

6. Results
6.1 Youth Sport System
6.1.1 Policy Documents
6.1.2 Structure of Youth Sport in Austria
6.1.3 Youth Sport at European Level
6.1.4 Tasks and Actions of Youth Sport
6.1.5 Interference Parameters
6.1.6 Factors of Success in Youth Sport
6.2 Quality Criteria
6.2.1 Definition of ‘Quality’
6.2.2 Quality Criteria
6.2.3 Quality Management in Sports Organization

7. Discussion
7.1 Discussion of Research Questions
7. 1.1 Structure of Youth Sport
7.1.2 Quality Criteria of Youth Sport Policy
7.2 Limitations

8. Conclusion and Implications

9. References

10. Appendices
Appendix A – Interview Preparation
Appendix B – Interview Transcriptions
Appendix D – CD-ROM

Statutory Declaration

Abstract

Jugendsportpolitik in Österreich – Eine Analyse und Entwicklung von Qualitätsindikatoren auf nationaler Ebene

Jugendsportpolitik stellt bis dato ein sehr wenig erforschtes Gebiet in der Sportwissenschaft dar. Die meisten Studien die Jugend und Sport behandeln untersuchen quantitativ Sportpartizipation oder den gesundheitlichen Zustand der Jugend eines Landes. In der Literatur wird viel über den erschreckend schlechten Gesundheitszustand der Jugendlichen diskutiert, doch genaue Untersuchungen die den Hintergrund durchleuchten, wie das Jugendsportsystem aufgebaut ist und funktioniert, gibt es kaum. Genauso fehlen in der Literatur generelle Qualitätsindikatoren, was eine qualitativ hochwertige Jugendarbeit ausmacht. Aus diesem Grund hat diese Masterarbeit das Ziel, eine systematische Darstellung der Jugendsportpolitik in Österreich sowie auf europäischen Level zu präsentieren. Des Weiteren werden Qualitätskriterien für die nationale Arbeit im Jugendsport durch die Empirie herausgearbeitet.

Der empirische Teil, der diese Erkenntnisse hervorbringt, umfasst auf der einen Seite eine sekundäre Datenanalyse durch eine umfassende Literaturrecherche. Primäre Daten werden durch sieben Experteninterviews gewonnen. Die transkribierten Interviews werden analysiert und in Bezug auf die Forschungsfragen mit Hilfe der Analyse Software MAXQDA 11 interpretiert.

Die Ergebnisse zeigen eine umfassende Darstellung des Jugendsportsystems in Österreich und auf europäischer Ebene. In Österreich erkennt man ein großes Potential aufgrund der weitverbreiteten festen Strukturen. Allerdings zeigen die Ergebnisse eine wenig ausgeprägte Zusammenarbeit der Akteure und eine fehlende Definition von Aufgaben und Aufteilung der Zuständigkeiten. Außerdem sind ein fehlendes ‚Policy‘-Dokument, sowie zu wenig Hauptamtliche zu bemängeln. Bezüglich der Erarbeitung von Qualitätsindikatoren bringen die Erkenntnisse aus Literatur und der empirischen Untersuchung ein umfassendes Modell hervor. Dieses umfasst als Hauptkriterien Kooperationen und interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit, ausreichende Infrastruktur, langhaltige Strukturen, sowie Hauptamt für den Jugendsport. Die Ergebnisse zeigen zum einen dem Jugendsport auf nationaler Ebene Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten, sowie Ansatzpunkte für eine Weiterentwicklung. Außerdem wird durch die Komplexität der Thematik der Bedarf an weiterer, tiefgründiger Forschung in diesem Bereich sichtbar.

Directory of Figures

Figure 1. Structures of organized Sport in Austria (Source: own Figure, derived from Tokarski, Steinbach, Petry, & Jesse, 2004, p.131)

Figure 2. Levels of government, location of sport policy and main tasks within Germany (Bergsgard, et al., 2007, p.122)

Figure 3. Key Finnish non-government sport structure prior to 2013 (Collins, 2011, p. 114)

Figure 4. Research Process (Source: own figure)

Figure 5. Process of the qualitative content analysis (Source: own Figure, derived from Gläser & Laudel, 2009, p.203)

Figure 6. Chart of youth sport stakeholders in Austria and Europe (Source: own Figure)

Figure 7. Model of Quality Criteria in Youth Sport (Source: own Figure)

Directory of Tables

Table 1 Listing of interview partners (Source: own diagram)

Table 2 Final Listing of Code System (Source: own diagram).

Abbreviation

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

1.1 Relevance of the Research Problem

Nowadays people generally are convinced that children and youth, who constitute the future of our society and account for up to 70 percent of the population (Rystina & Kussainova, 2014), should enjoy the best education, attractive and multifaceted career opportunities, and should live healthy in a beneficial environment. In contrast though, concerns about decreasing health and fitness among children worldwide are rising (Ng, et al., 2014). The alteration of lifestyle and leisure-time activities is indisputably ascertained within scientific discussions. This phenomenon can be blamed on the increasing mechanization and motorization, as well as on the changing within family structures of the developed industrial society (Täubrich, 2011). In numerous statistics, Austria is ranked in the upper middle of prevalence of overweight, and in the lower middle field in prevalence of insufficient physical activity among children and youth (World Health Organization, 2010; Currie, et al., 2012). The recently released holistic Eurobarometer-study by the European Commission (20141 ), showed Austria as well in the upper middle of youth engaging in physical activity per week. The lack of sufficient activity and the resulting grave problems of children overweight allegorize a big challenge for health related politics worldwide. Physical inactivity is nowadays identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (World Health Organization [WHO], 2010). Recommendations of at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness at children’s age (European Union [EU], 2008; Strong, et al., 2005; WHO, 2010). Additionally to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, regular physical activity helps to control weight and contributes to mental well-being. Furthermore, it is important to promote a healthy amount of physical activity to the youth, because it positively effects the development of healthy adult lifestyle (Hallal, Victora, Azevedo, & Wells, 2006; Holt & Jones, 2008). The physical and psychological consequences of inactivity and malnutrition have an impact on the whole personality and motor-skills development of children. Inactivity at children’s age on the other hand can cause retardation and dysfunctions in physical, psychological-emotional, and social areas (Täubrich, 2011). Consequently, in conformity with Schratzenstaller and Fritz (2004) a sportive and active population gains remarkable economic benefit for the state. According to Hallal et al. (2006), the promotion of physical activity must start as early as possible and it needs to be kept as a public priority. For this purpose an effective concept for youth and mass sports is indispensable for a national sport policy.

Especially in Austria sport politics constitute a very disputable topic, since the sport system structure is inapprehensible and possibly unnecessarily complex (Lilge & Millmann, 2013). When it comes to sport, there are various players interacting from governmental and non-governmental areas. Regarding youth sport at sports for all level, the three umbrella organizations (ASVÖ, ASKÖ, and SPORTUNION) and their sport clubs play the essential role. The sport clubs still represents the heart of the Austrian sport participation and sport system. Although the individual participation in physical activity, for example in parks or somewhere else outside, is increasing and constitutes a higher overall percentage within the Austrian population (European Commission, 20141 ). Another main provider for sport within youth illustrates the school sport. Multiple discussions claim that physical education in school does not suffice in quantity and quality to compensate the insufficient movement. Additional sport- and activity offerings are demanded within the area of school and leisure time. As a consequence of the fatal underachievement at the Olympics in London 2012, the call for the ‘daily gym lesson’ in school evolved. Weiß et al. (2005) highlight the importance of a qualitative physical education in school, to ensure the string from school sport to a later permanent physical activity to go on and on. The offering at school should improve in the sense that it serves as basis for the transition to adult sport. Therefore not only the hours, but also the quality of school sport has to increase. An improved formation and motivation of the teachers in elementary schools are subsequently essential. In this regard cooperation between schools and sport clubs constitute a win-win situation for both parties, through the disposal of qualitative staff versus the possibility to gain club members. Furthermore, a rethinking of presenting sport is emphasized within the young society, since children do not associate sport with strenuousness or torture, but rather with games, fun, and joy. For children and young people, physical activity includes inter alia play, transportation, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise in context of family, school, or community activities (WHO, 2010). This potential of motivation has to be sustained to achieve lifelong continuity of physical activity from earliest childhood. Through joy and fun children can be enthused and fostered for sport participation. Weiß et al. (2005) in addition criticize the understanding of sport within the Austrian population, which is embossed by the professional, media-focused, and performance-oriented components. Therefore a rethinking of terminology and the image and focus of sport clubs is important. The clubs have to offer a more flexible proposal, to meet the recently rising demands of the young population. They also need a broad spectrum of offers in mass sport and an expansion for trend-sport. A rugged structural frame condition could constitute groundwork for an improvement of the potential of sport clubs, whose main aim should lie within the binding and gaining of members. Weiß et al. (2005) further claim a lack of specified confederations, for example for youth sport, within Austrian sport structure. In addition sport infrastructure and facilities in Austria are often declared as deficient and faulty. An effective sport politics includes an improvement of competence distribution between state and federal states, as well as the responsible ministry. General social and political signs are necessary. Weiß et al. (2005) recommend thereby that the state should foster sports facilities and sport offerings, it should strengthen cooperation between schools and clubs and an increase in sport hours in school, as well as a linking between sports promotion and health politics, like a Bonus-Malus-system whereby physical activity is honored. They also highlight the need of specified federations, which leads to the question of an independent youth federation. In its country profile on nutrition, physical activity and obesity, the WHO (2013, p. 7) identifies seven national policy documents or action plans by national governments which include inter alia (1) the existence of a national ‘sport for all’ policy of a national ‘sport for all’ implementation program, (2) the counselling on physical activity as part of primary health care activities, (3) mandatory physical education in primary and secondary schools, (4) the inclusion of physical activity in general teaching training, and (5) national or subnational schemes promoting active travel to school.

Although the youth represents a target group with potential and a need for activation, an underlying interconnection of stakeholders and an institutional uniform youth policy in sport is rarely and poorly existent. With the existing schools, sport clubs, and facilities for unorganized sport there would be various possibilities to create a structured collaborating environment for youth sport in Austria. Therefore an effective youth sport policy with promising interdisciplinary competence distribution is needed, to fully exploit the existing potentials.

The lack of sufficient and meaningful scientific evidence and argumentation can be identified as problematic. Although there are several studies about the sport behavior of youth, there is no existing research about youth sport policy and strategies in Austria and rarely literature about youth sport on international level. Research on youth projects only constitutes punctual, selective inventory control instead of a continual cross-linked survey and analysis. In health statistics on the other hand, young people are often neglected as one population group (Currie et al, 2012).

For sports and health politics of any nation it would be of high interest to have guidelines or recommendations for an effective youth sport policy.

1.2 Purpose Statement

The aim of this research consists of systematic extensive gathering of information around youth sport system in Austria and at European level. Complementary data and facts ascertainment through expert interviews and comprehensive literature analysis elaborate quality indicators for youth sport policy at national level. The presented theoretical framework therefore fits on the one hand in the field of quality and quality criteria. On the other hand the management of non-profit organization is another underlying field, since the sport structure is based on them. In 2008 the EU released guidelines for recommended policy actions to support physical activity (EU, 2008). Thereby the main groups of actors on the policy areas are the central government, regional and local government, the organized sector, and non-organized sport. It would be of high interest which stakeholders could interact in which way to gain maximal output for youth sport. The EU (2008) further suggests that sport policies should aim increasing the number of citizens participating in sports and physical activity. For this achievement an identification of resources and key stakeholder is necessary, as well as social and environmental barriers for sport participation need to be addressed. Since especially in Austria the structures of youth sport are spongy, the research at hand gives a first identification of stakeholders in youth sport in order to recommend youth sport policies at national level. Additionally the need for evidence based sport policy; encouraging sport science to investigate in policy research gives another purpose and motivation for this study. The physical activity guidelines of the WHO (2008) highlight the need of policy actions and the interlinked implementation of a regularly monitoring for evaluation and review of the policies.

According to Weiß et al. (2005) quality in children and youth sport can only be achieved through poly-sportive, diversified sport- and movement offers that are customized on age groups, as well as a stronger integration of social components in school sport. Existing infrastructure and facilities are an additional fundamental requirement. Schratzenstaller and Fritz (2004) propose quality standards for open youth work, which include full employment of the youth workers, an annulment of the project-status for more sustainability, more money for the responsible, a monthly supervision and regularly self-evaluation and controlling of the goals, less administrative work, and an increase of networking beyond the borders.

The aim of this research therefore lies, besides an analysis of the situation of the youth sport system in Austria, on the development of quality indicators of youth sport on a national level. An extensive review of existing literature on youth sport policy at national and European level will lay the fundamental basis for further research. Sports policy and policy-making-processes theory will be displayed in the theoretical framework. The research questions therefore investigate what quality criteria could be proposed to fulfill an effective youth sport policy. Therefore, preliminarily the current situation and structures of the youth sport in Austria will be analyzed as groundwork. Empirical data of conducted experts’ interviews within the area of youth sport will be evaluated.

Summing up the main purpose of the following thesis lies within the gain of knowledge of youth sport system through an identification of the different actors and their interconnections, as well as the installation of policy guidelines through quality indicators for youth sport politics.

1.3 Structure

The thesis at hand is structured as followed. An extensive literature review will be provided in the chapter two, which identifies and sums-up the status quo of the literature and studies for this research. Because of the inductive qualitative approach of this research, the literature review can rather be seen as preliminary desk-research, collecting relevant existing literature and laying the framework for the following study. The chapter of the literature review will be divided into four subject areas. It will be started with an illustration of publications dealing with sport policy, policy-making, and youth sport politics to ensure a holistic understanding of the matter. Subsequently, studies of the current health situation, sports participation, and sport structure of Austrian youth will be presented. The last part of the literature review deals with youth sport at European level. Thereby on the one hand the health situation will be discussed briefly and on the other hand European sports politics and structures in connection with youth sport will be illustrated. Concluding, youth sport within the sport system of the two selected European countries, Germany and Finland, will be described. Germany was chosen because of its similarity and comparability in sport structure compared to Austria. Finland was included because of its successful height of youth sport participation and because of personal recommendations. Derived from the literature review, the theoretical context will be demonstrated afterwards. By presenting fundamental definition, as well as essential theories in the area of quality management, non-profit organizations, and sport policy, this chapter will lay a theoretical framework for the following empirical research. Consequently the development of the research questions will be introduced. The subsequent methodology part explains the used research paradigm and instruments (seven expert interviews), as well as limitations and justifications for the chosen method. Further the data collection and process of data analysis will be described profoundly. Finally the results of the secondary data analysis and the qualitative content analysis of the primary data will be presented and discussed in depth. Thereby the status quo condition of youth sport embedded in the sport structure and youth sport policy system in Austria will be edited thoroughly. Ensuring, proposed quality criteria of a national youth sport policy will be displayed. A final conclusion and recommended implications of this research will conclude the thesis.

2. Literature Review

The following literature review will be divided into four subject areas that are essential for the research at hand. A holistic literature search had gone ahead of the subsequent presentation, which will be explained more deeply in the methodology section of this thesis. Since this qualitative research does not precede a discrete pool of scientific studies that lead to a theoretical model, the literature review can rather be considered as preliminary desk-research, laying the framework for the following study. Preceding literature, dealing with sport policy and youth sport policy, will be presented. Afterwards studies of the health situation and the youth’s sport participation, as well as the sport system in Austria will be displayed compactly. Concluding the interaction of the youth sport stakeholder on the European level will be illustrated, followed by a brief demonstration of youth sport in the two elected European countries, Germany and Finland.

2.1 Youth Sport and Sport Policy

The fact that sport and politics cannot be separated is widely spread for years. Still a comprehensive standardized terminology of sports policy and its fields of action lacks in academic literature (Güldenpfennig, 2010). Sport constitutes an ideal framework for politicians, not only because of the high public interest in sport, but as well because of the increasing mergence of economy, sport, and media (Hollerer, 2012). Generally in the field of sports nowadays, a variety of actors from state, market, and society are interacting (Klaus, 2013). According to Güldenpfennig (2010) the interplay of sports and politics has been shaped imprecisely throughout a long period of time and can still be seen as scientific developing region. He accepts the hypothesis that sport politics constitutes policy in the field of sports for corresponding achievement and success, and for the establishment of spaces of freedom where the potential of power can be unfolded in. Sport policy area is in a nutshell characterized by “recency, increasing government intervention, embedded beliefs, a dispersed administrative context and experiences of significant exogenous influences” (King, 2009, p. 20), which all together forms the strategic actions of policymakers and practitioners. Groll (2010) expands the term sport policy by the multiple interaction processes with other areas of society. The term policy itself has been defined in a variety of different ways. Nowadays, the BusinessDictonary.com1 sees policy as “basic principles by which a government is guided” as well as the “declared objectives that a government or party seeks to achieve and preserve in the interest of national community”. Hill (1997, p. 41) argued that “policy is the product of the exercise of political influence, determining what the state does and setting limits to what it does”. Furthermore, King (2009, p. 23) highlights the policy’s characteristic as a process and “sequence or cluster of decisions”, which opposes it to single decisions. Skille (2014) additionally accentuates the distinction between policy making and policy implementation since policy is more than making decisions; there is also a course of actions that are directed towards the achievements of set objectives. On global level, Groll (2010) highlights terms like governance, partnership, corporatism, and network building concerning sport political decision-making. Global sport policy takes frequently place in the interplay of confederations, ministries, international bureaucracy, and companies; all actors with dissimilar characteristics. Responsible for its functioning is the organizational and institutional variety of federal liability of sport, the different bracing of sport in the constitutions, and the heterogeneity of functions and influence of non-governmental sport organizations of the respective European nations. According to Groll (2010) the central action of sport policy networks always lies within the interchange of resources in between the actors. Resources thereby can be typified into political, financial, analytical (information) resources, and legitimation as resource. The flip side of the coin is, however, that conclusions and decisions of sport policies have often not been seen, due to lacking transparency and publicity.

Despite the increasing governmental interest in sport, an equivalent rising academic interest in the analysis of public policy for sport is lacking (Houlihan, 2005). In the last decade there have been some publications on sport policy and development (King, 2009) and a bit less literature about analysis of sport policy (Houlihan, 2005). An academic journal that explicitly engaged in sport policy has not existed until 2009, when the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics has been introduced. In the introduction of the new journal, Houlihan, Bloyce, and Smith (2009) highlight the absence of academic articles that address all aspects of sport policy analysis and its process in the preceding decades; for example investigations of the interrelationship with other state and non-state policy actors, papers exploring how governments intervene in policy and the impact of public policy, or analysis of the work of transnational government. King (2009) himself illustrates a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding sport policy. Like Skille (2014), he highlights a competition between actors making and implementing sports policy. Furthermore he identifies required dimensions for understanding and explaining policy process. These include a historical and socio-cultural political context; an organizational or institutional context; funding context and resource dependencies; an analysis of relationships within political context; and the role of skilled policy actors and entrepreneurs. Skille and Säfvenbom (2011) propose a sport policy illustration in Norway. Thereby they utilize historical development of governmental and non-governmental sport involvements, combined with an analysis of collaboration between public authorities and voluntary sport organizations. A sport policy, in form of the sport political document, exists in Norway, but attracts little attention and counts as rather ambiguous. Three policy tools within the Norwegian sport context are emphasized, which are public information (for example the ‘White Paper on Sport’), grants, and contracts. However adequate policy tools for implementation in the voluntary system are lacking. King (2009) introduces to policy research, which - according to him - tries to comprehend how state and political actors interact to produce public actions, and why and to what effect governments pursue specific actions or inactions. Policy analysis can be seen as an applied sub-field, whose determinations cannot be pinpointed by disciplinary boundaries. In his review of policy study and research, King (2009) summarizes approaches at specific areas of policy research. Parsons (1995) identifies six approaches to policy analysis : ‘stagist’, ‘neo-Marxist’, ‘institutionalism’, ‘policy discourse approaches’, ‘pluralist-elitist for the macro-level’, and ‘subsystem approaches’ for the meso-level analysis. Regarding different areas of policy study, where different authors have been researched in, King (2009, p. 23) embraces ‘policy regimes’, ‘policy determinants’, ‘policy content’, and ‘policy outcomes’. According to King (2009) there are too many inappropriate concepts, frameworks, and theories within sport policy field. Theory building should thereby be the outcome of research and study which focuses on policy sectors. Policy areas in sport are sparely researched and theorized. Houlihan (2005, p. 176) summarizes that an adequate analytic framework should consist of three major characteristics (1) an analysis of interaction between structure and agency, (2) the administrative infrastructure of the state, the structure of ideas, beliefs, norms and values in society, as well as the interplay of interests and ideas, and (3) the capability to explain both policy stability and change, which implies a minimum period of five to ten years. Houlihan (2005) further highlights four criteria against which frameworks for policy analysis can be evaluated. The framework has to offer capacity to explain stability and change, to illuminate a range of aspects of the policy process, to be applicable across a range of policy areas, and finally the framework should consist of a at least five years analysis to facilitate a medium term historical analysis of policy change. To round up the area of policy research, in the following chapter of this work, several policy theory frameworks are outlined and evaluated considering these preceding guidelines.

In the White Paper (European Commission, 2007), the European Commission (EC) highlights the important role of sport for the society. Thereby the EC declares that sport “makes an important contribution to economic and social cohesion and more integrated societies “. Additionally the EC further demands that “all residents should have access to sport” (European Commission, 2007, p. 7). The surplus of sport for society can only be established through widespread participation, because sports participation will lead to improved social outcomes. Furthermore, increased sport participation within the broad population entails one of the foundation pillars for national sporting success (de Bosscher, de Knop, van Bottenburg, & Shibli, 2006). Since the increasing importance of sport and its success, as cultural, social, and economic factor, governments of most developed nations have implemented sport policies in the last decades (Nicholson, Hoye & Houlihan, 2011). King (2009) as well reports a restructuring of the sport policy area in the last decade. According to various authors, these policies focus primary on the two key pillars supporting elite sport performance and increasing rates of participation (E.g.: Côté and Hancock, 2014; Green, 2005; Nicholson, Hoye, & Houlihan, 2011) . Growing sport participation thereby may count as an element of strategy to improve elite sport performance. In their book, Nicholson, Hoye, and Houlihan (2011) delve into international governmental sport policy perspectives regarding participation in sport and its increase. After profound descriptions of national sports policies worldwide, the authors conclude that “national government policies focused on facilitating greater public participation in sport are not always clearly discernible or labelled as such” (Nicholson, et al., 2011, p. 294). Rather a range of policies from sport and as well non-sport areas of government colludes (public health, urban regeneration, economic development, social inclusion, and community development). For national government therefore, sport participation constitutes a relatively abstract concept that is related to broad policy goals. These policies preferentially influence the amount of funding, the availability and quality of sport and recreation facilities, and the opportunities for children and adults to access participation programs and activities. The authors criticize the short duration of the bigger part of these policies. A term of only three to four years impedes an establishment of any continuity of programs which leads to nonsatisfying or disenfranchised policies and opportunities. Furthermore qualified staff is hard to retain within the organizations because of the uncertainty of funding and future perspectives. The majority of national policies disappointingly showed limited success and low efficacy. Nonetheless successful policies for increasing sports participation are pointed out like (1) commanding physical education (to ensure adequate amount of daily physical activity for kids and facilitate the cross-linking between school and sport clubs), (2) setting realistic participation targets and supporting them with adequate funding and resources, (3) gathering evidence to monitor policy achievements (currently data on participation is raw), and (4) providing facilities of sufficient number and quality so that demand for sport participation does not overshoot supply.

The number of comparing across national policies and boundaries are rare, and the existing studies vary in terms of focus, theoretical basis, and methodology (Bergsgard, Houlihan, Mangset, Nødland, & Rommetvedt, 2007). The difficulty of a comparing analysis lies within the complexity of sports policy, since it is often made in a variety of institutional settings (educational area, multiple levels of government, non-profit and commercial organization). Bergsgard, et al. (2007) propose potential insights for an analysis of sport policy, which are state system and executive-legislative relations, concentration of private and public power (relationship between organizations and government), and strategic implications for political actors (generalization of interests and coalition building). In their comparative study the authors investigate political and historical context, structure of sport and the role of the voluntary sector, structures and values of the sport policy, high performance sport, and sport for all. Houlihan (2012) reviews the increasing comparative analysis of sport system and proposes an effective framework for examining convergence. As the outcome of the literature review, Houlihan (2012) identifies seven dimensions of policy process: motives, agenda and aspirations, contextualizing discourse/ideology/values, inputs, implementation, momentum, and impact.

Regarding youth sport policy research, the extensive literature searching reveals a frustrating picture of available academic publications. A handful authors worldwide analyze youth sport policies on national level (de Knop & de Martelaer, 2001; Combeau-Mari, 2001). Further papers research on youth sport programs (Côté & Hancock, 2014; Flett, Gould, & Lauer, 2012; Wiersma, 2005), policies of school sport (Phillpots, 2013), or youth sport organizations (Braun & Baur, 2000; Engelberg, Skinner, & Zakus, 2011) in connection with volunteerism (Kim, Zhang, & Connaughton, 2010).

Rystina & Kussainova (2014) review comparative analyses of national youth policy in different countries. National youth policy was thereby taken as the overall plans and a wide variety of programs relating to all young people. They conclude that a national youth policy on its own is not sufficient. Countries rather need an action plan for policy implementation associated with appropriate budgeting and an evaluation of youth policies. Combeau-Mari (2001) scans the development towards a youth sport policy in the French Union. In Flanders and the Netherlands, de Knop and de Martelaer (2001) evaluate ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of youth sport. They claim that prior to their study ‘quantity’ of youth sport, in form of sport participation, has been the focal point of sport policy. Certainly, participation data, which is the most common analysis method, illustrates no indication of the quality of experiences of the participants. Quality criteria can thereby be found in policy decrees of sports. As a starting point for their evaluation they utilize the strategic goals concerning youth sport that are stated in general mission statements and policy documents of central government. Since youth sport counts as a social phenomenon and governmental concern, a variety of aims have been introduced through the policy makers. The two major goals in the respective countries consist of an increase of sport participation on the one hand, and an improvement of the quality of these sports experiences on the other hand. Preliminary, to understand these main goals, the organizational networks and variety of sports policy documents have been analyzed. Through their study, the authors ascertain the necessity of setting up a quality care system to improve youth sport. They further suggest a cyclical process of evaluation and adjustment of goals and actions. Additionally they recommend improving the communication between the organizations and clubs, youth members, staff training for youth sport coaches, efficient cooperation between schools, school sports, and organized sport, quality awareness, and the setup of a quality control system, including quality measuring instruments.

Regarding literature on youth sport programs there is on the one hand some discussion about rating systems (Wiersma, 2005) and quality assessment of youth sport programs (Flett, Gould, & Lauer, 2012). On the other hand few authors discuss evidence-based policies and their implementation for youth programs (Côté & Hancock, 2014; O’Gorman, 2011). O’Gorman (2011) discusses the implementation of sport policy and programs drawn upon implementation theories. According to his opinion, implementation, as an integral element of policy process (O’Gorman, 2011, p. 87), is often overlooked in sport policy literature. Côté and Hancock (2014) analyze policies for sport programs by means of their outcomes, classified as the 3Ps: performance, participation and personal development. According to the authors, the questions arise among researchers and policymakers of how youth sport programs should be structured and of what constitutes the outcomes of youth sport. Wiersma (2005) proposes a rating system for youth sport programs in the USA, classifying sport programs into four levels depending on participation, competition character, and required skill level. Flett, Gould, and Lauer (2012) used the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) to analyze the effort of after school sport programs and youth organizations. The assessment tool consists of a pyramid model, with Safety as the foundation of youth programs, followed by the domains Support, Interaction, and Engagement.

In youth sport the sport club constitutes the by far most significant youth organization (Brettschneider & Kleine, 2001). The sport clubs focus in their work on two pillars: on the one hand the development and support of juvenile engagement and on the other hand the support for juvenile development through sport. In their final analysis, Brettschneider and Kleine (2001) suggest the clubs for future development of their youth work to enforce quality assurance, to develop differentiated profiles containing clear assumed performances, to increase building of networks, and to strengthen the cooperation between organized sport, politics, and sport science. Skille (2009) claims a lack of research at sport clubs level, especially with regard to the clubs representatives, who constitute the persons implementing the policy program in the end. Skille (2014) sees sport clubs as a “mechanism for policy implementation, with policy making still being under governmental control” (Skille, 2014, p. 1). The connection between policy making and implementation is often unclear. Therefore she investigates the relationship between state sport policy and local sport clubs through the concept of community in Norway. Thereby the white paper on sport lays the groundwork for the Norwegian sport policy and the foundation of Skille’s analysis. The main findings are the similar understanding of community in the policy version and the sport club, as well as the adaption of central policy aims by the sport clubs. Hoffmann (2011) investigates the predictability of youth’s engagement in sports activities in sport clubs. Despite decreasing numbers of club members, the study reveals positive influence of ‘ Intention ’ and ‘ Commitment ’ on the maintenance of sports activity.

Phillpots (2013) examines policymaking process of physical education and school sports using the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) model, a theoretical tool to analyze stability and change and to investigate policy making through dynamic interplay of policy brokers and interest groups. Braun and Baur (2000) engage in youth work within sport organizations, debating the differences and coherences of general- and sport related youth work. They claim an insufficient development of youth work within German sport organizations. Through analyzing action programs of youth federations of the sport organizations and expert interviews, the legitimacy of youth work based on the pedagogical justifications, ‘education toward sport’ and ‘education through sport’ is discussed. They further give an illustration of practice of club organized youth work and determine position of youth work in sport within general youth work. According to Braun and Baur (2000) the primary purpose of sport clubs and federations lies within the producing of a general framework for the realization of interests in sport, which counts of course for youth organizations as well. Engelberg, Skinner, and Zakus (2011) dedicate to youth sport organization and the links between organizational commitment, commitment to the volunteer role, and aspects of volunteer performance. In their opinion youth sport organizations are facing increasingly stringent management and legislative challenges and a closer scrutiny on their performances by governing bodies and regulatory agencies. Anyway volunteers can be still seen as key human resources on whom youth sport organizations are dependent. An increasing trend toward professionalization within youth sport organizations leads to more diverse and complex roles of volunteers and a request for volunteers with specialist skills and knowledge (such as financing, operating income, organizing events). The results of their study show the importance of commitment of volunteers to their organizations, as well as the commitment to the volunteer role itself. It is proposed to implement strategies that facilitate the development of a volunteer identity and to build a sense of belonging and attachment to other volunteers to encourage volunteers to stay longer. Incentives like funding for coaches or training in management and governance matters are recommended.

The foregoing section has provided a compact review of existing literature handling sport policy research and youth sport policy. Analyzing sport policy the authors in unison recommend using dimension for understanding and explaining the policy process. These may include, inter alia, organizational or institutional context and structure, historical and socio-cultural context, or relationships within a political context. The distinction between policy making and policy implementation is further highlighted throughout the literature. Recommendations for policies in the field of sport lie within a sufficiently long duration, setting of realistic targets, and providing monitoring of the policy achievements. Regarding youth sport policy, the literature primarily embraces national youth policies or youth sport programs and youth sport in sport clubs. The evaluation of youth sport still constitutes a challenging problem. Therefore the need for further research and the implementation of analysis tools is observable in the field of sport policy research.

2.2 Status Quo Health Situation of Austrian Youth

At the beginning of the thesis at hand, the high importance of a healthy population has been presented. The former Austrian minister of sport, Mr. Darabos, accentuates the paradox that people move less in a civilization that is getting more and more quickly (BMLVS, 2012). He further emphasizes the reciprocal dependency of breadth and peak in national sport. Therefore a broad participation in sport in the population can be seen as requisite for high performance sporting success and vice versa.

In their study about sport and health in Austria Halbwachs et al. (2000) accentuated the grave economic benefits for the national health system of being physically active. They evidence the additional costs for the health care system of the inactive population on the contrary to people engaging in sport. The Austrian Nutrition Report (Elmadfa, et al., 2012) reports deficiencies in the kinesic behavior of Austrian youth. The report monitors a decline in the activity level in the course of the school age in both sexes. The Sixth Austrian Youth Report (BMWFJ, 2011) reveals frightening statistics about the worrisome health situation of Austria’s youth, whereat inactivity, obesity and addictive drug abuse like alcohol and tobacco, harm the youth’s health. Only two out of five under 15-years old declare themselves to be in good health. The health-related life quality declines continually in both genders until the age of 15. Although more sport is carried out than ever before and sport nowadays plays a central role in the youth’s leisure time, the study presents an alarming reduction from the age of 13 on regarding the activity behavior. Singly every fifth, or at the 15-years old even every tenth, adolescent meet the from experts proposed amount of daily physical activity. Further a shift was observed, away from club sport to individual activities, which often include high-risk, for example extreme, nature sports that are not extremely beneficial to one’s health (Weiß, et al., 2005). According to the BMWFJ (2011) 46% of the youth preferentially are involved in sport on their own without any organizations. This group is followed by activities in sport clubs (18%) and sport at schools or university (14%), but only 5% practice at commercial fitness centers. The authors thereby affirm the essential that organized sport, sporting associations, and clubs collaborate actively and create stronger links to the area of youth work and schools. Against this background the youth work in the sport clubs has been undergoing changes (Weiß, et al., 2005) as well as the interests in sport have been developed (Tomlinson, Ravenscroft, Wheaton & Gilchrist, 2005). In Eurobarometer (European Commission, 2014) nearly one third of the Austrian population declares that authority does not do enough for the citizens in relation to physical activity. Nevertheless the opinion towards given sport opportunities is quite positive. As the following part about Austrian sport structure will display, there are already first approaches into the right direction, but these efforts should be strengthened in the upcoming years.

2.3 Youth Sport System and Politics in Austria

According to Hollerer (2012) an established individual scientific sector for the field of sport has not been developed completely yet in the European area. In Austria, especially the field of action in sport politics is rarely elaborated. The corpus of the existent studies related to youth in Austria, discusses sport participation and its motives, as well as behavioral interests of the adolescents. Especially research projects about youth mostly present only a punctual appraisal of the situation instead of a cross-linked investigation and analysis.

Figure 1. Structures of organized Sport in Austria (Source: own Figure, derived from Tokarski, Steinbach, Petry, & Jesse, 2004, p.131).

For a better understanding of the description of youth sport in the result section, the general sport system and the implemented sport policies in Austria will be illustrated briefly in the following. Figure 1 shows the segmentation into the governmental and non-governmental sector. Sport in Austria is the matter of the federal ‘Länder’ and it is based on the principle of subsidiarity. Within the non-governmental structures, the Austrian Federal Sports Organization (BSO) is the nation’s supreme self-governing sports body, which represents sport as a non-profit-making sports association. Being responsible for promoting sport in the interest of all citizens, the BSO contains the national sports federations and the three umbrella organizations as ordinary members. While the national sports federation dedicate themselves to top-level sport, the three umbrella organizations, ASKÖ, ASVÖ, and SPORTUNION, focus on sport for all and leisure sport (Tokarski, Petry, Groll, & Mittag, 2009). The basis of Austria’s sport pyramid constitutes the numerous sport clubs and the athletes as their members.

The White Paper of Sport by the EC can be seen as an important guidepost of the national sport. According to the Federal Ministry of Defense and Sport (BMLVS, 2009) 60% of the requests of the White Paper are already implemented in the Austrian sport. Relating to the working point “Improvement public health through physical activity” some basic conditions are existing in Austria, but further effort is needed. As a positive beginning could count the already implemented good structures in grass-root sport within umbrella organizations, diverse projects and initiatives in the sports for all sector, seals of quality for sport clubs, collaboration with health insurances, or the establishment of the working group “Youth and Sport”, in which different ministries are working together. In line with the evaluation of the possibilities of implementation of the White Paper (BMLVS, 2009), the ministry of sport in cooperation with the BSO conducted a current-state analysis within Austrian sport organizations and clubs. The questionnaire unfolds the necessity of good infrastructure and an improved incorporation of school sport through a strengthened alliance of educational and health sectors. Furthermore better financial support and increasing measures of education and training for clubs and their coaches are addressed. Frameworks should be developed and incentives have to be offered to enthuse young people for voluntary work. Concluding, a trans-sectoral collaboration, concentration on sport in school, offerings of further formation and education, and promotion of volunteering count as the main starting points for implementing the guidelines of the White Paper. Deriving from the “EU Physical Activity Guidelines” (EU, 2008), the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the BMLVS (2013) introduced the National Action Plan – Exercise (NAP.b) as trans-sectoral policy document. The Action Plan contains a concrete catalogue of objectives within the areas of sport, health issues, education system, transportation and environment, working world, and older people. Furthermore the NAP.b should raise the awareness for measures of exercise-promoting and should serve as guidelines. The catalogue of objectives contains inter alia aims like the allocation and procuration of information and education about health and physical activity; installation of networking structure and a network of sport organizations with area-wide, health-oriented sport offerings; composition of structures of sport clubs, considering special target groups; or the development of frameworks for educational institution with a strengthened encouraging for activity; and an improvement of quality and quantity of physical activity in elementary schools. Additionally it is planned to implement a monitoring system to ensure an ongoing evaluation of the measures. Anyway concrete direction giving actions, as well as a concentration on youth are missing in the holistic health document. Meeting the demand of the WHO, the “Fit für Österreich Kinder Charta” was introduced, which constitutes the sole policy document dedicated exclusively on children and youth. This five-point charter comprises aims to strengthen the awareness of children for physical activity and to support their exercise.

The preceding paragraph illustrates the structural and legal framework of sport in Austria. General sports policy in Austria is based on the guidelines of the EC White Paper of Sport and the EU Physical Activity Guidelines. Deriving from the latter, the ministries of health and sport introduced the action plan for exercise, containing a catalogue of objectives. Anyway it is questionable whether these goals fit the SMART-rule, of being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Thus concrete direction giving actions, as well as a concentration on youth is lacking. A five-point youth charter should address children’s awareness for physical activity, but it does not provide a policy framework for youth sport which hardly exists. In the result section further findings of the literature research combined with outcomes of the empirical examination will be consolidated. Thereby the structure and legal framework of youth sport in Austria will be edited in depth.

2.4 Youth Sport at European Level

2.4.1 Health and Sport Situation

According to Brettschneider, Hoffmann, Naul, and Steinzen (2009) the increasing inactivity and hence the rising overweight and adiposities rate in the European countries constitutes the major challenge of European youth sport. The holistic Eurobarometer (European Commission, 20141 ) displays that the majority of young people (age group of 15 to 24 years) still exercise or play sport on a regular basis. Anyway there is a notably gender disparity, with 74% of the young men versus 55% of the young women doing sports. Furthermore the data shows that citizens in the Northern part of the EU are the most physically active. A holistic comparison of data from studies between 1964 and 2010 showed a significant decrease in fitness among children, compared to their parents at the same age2. Prevention is getting more important and should get more attention. In the comprehensive study of health behavior in school-aged children of the WHO (Currie, et al., 2012) the deficiencies in physical activity among European youth are demonstrated. Physical activity level is significantly decreasing between the ages of 11 and 15. Like in the Eurobarometer from the European Commission, gender differences are significant (higher activity among the boys), but no clear geographic patterns are observable. The data leads to the conclusion of a definite need for policy interventions to increase physical activity. Currie et al. (2012, p.137) highlight that “policy-makers and practitioners should seek to identify what prevents and what motivates participation”. Therefore a framework should be created to ensure equitable access, including provision of activities for girls, ensuring affordable activities, involving young people in designing programs, ensuring safe local environment, and educating the public through mass media to raise awareness and change social norms around physical activity. The authors further accentuate the importance of encouragement and embedding of physical activity within the younger years, to ensure a continuous participation across the lifespan. Thereby they recommend interventions like engaging parents in support, developing school policies to promote highly active physical activity throughout the education, or monitoring television or video-game use. The allocation of sufficient opportunities for physical activities counts as inevitable. The Eurobarometer shows a satisfaction within the European population according to the opportunities given. Over 70% agree that the local areas provide them opportunities to be physical active, whereby there are mixed opinions on the level of support provided by the authorities. Young people thereby tend to think that authorities are not doing enough (European Commission, 20141 ). In the following, some released policies at European level will be described in connection with a presentation of literature on European sports politics and youth sport structures.

2.4.2 Youth Sport at European Level

The analysis of European sports politics and structures constitutes a challenging interdisciplinary topic, whereby only little literature about international and transnational sport politics exists (Mittag & Groll, 2010). Sport as the subject of scientific research in context with the European Union has not been existed for a long time. The majority of research discusses specific subareas of sport, which does not comply with the inter-disciplinary character of sport (Klaus, 2013). The first holistic illustrations of sport in Europe and various aspects of European sport politics were presented not before the 90s and are limited to Tokarski & Petry (1993), Tokarski & Steinbach (2001), and Tokarski, Petry, Groll, & Mittag (2009). As well in the nineties, Henry and Matthews (1998) already discussed whether sport should be seen as one of the EU’s areas of competences. They could not give any future prospects, but highlighted the importance of analyzing the structural position and strategic relations of actors in the sports policy field. According to Mittag and Groll (2010), a holistic discussion about European sports politics at theoretical level is still lacking in sport and political science. Thereby a theoretical classification or typologies of sport at European level and the influence of European integration on the development of the sport structures at the member states pose the major challenge. They come to the conclusion that particular types of collective, respectively interdependent adaptions and actions can be realized. Kornbeck (2006) likewise scrutinizes the horizontal (sport interfering in other political fields) versus vertical (sport developed as independent vertical topic) nature of sport in the internal structures of the European Union. Since the EU predominantly does not deal with sport as a discrete topic, but rather solely specific aspects of sport in connection with other political areas, a classification is not clear. In his article, Kornbeck (2006) concludes that it contains a mixture of horizontal and vertical elements, whereby the vertical principles are getting strengthened.

With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in late 2009, the European Union gained supporting, coordinating and supplementing competences over European sport. According to Klaus (2013), the framework of action of the EU counts not solely as regulative, but rather increasingly as cooperative and creative. For the first time, the EU was actively pursuing to promote sport and physical activity at policy level. Thereby the EC activated the Member States to implement evidence-based policies in order to improve their provision of sporting facilities and opportunities (European Commission, 2010). Previously, with the release of the EC White Paper in 2007, the European Commission presented an important milestone in sports regulation. The White Paper offers a holistic statement of the Commission’s philosophy on sport and contains further a “number of actions to be implemented or supported by the Commission” (European Commission, 2007, p. 19). Without any doubt, the White Paper contributes significantly to the debate on the future of European sport, although its outcome is not legally binding on any party (Hill, 2009). Nevertheless the EC White Paper entails respectable criticism. A media release of the UEFA (2007), expresses its disappointments over the draft EU White Paper on Sport. Instead of meeting the high legitimate expectations and optimism within the European sports movement, the document lacks a clear political orientation lead by a well-defined legal and policy framework. Hill (2009) further criticizes the lacking pronouncements of controversial subject of sport’s specificity (EU conservative approach to specificity) and the little progress since the Nice Declaration of 2000. As a direction giving document regarding European health sector, the EU released the EU Physical Activity Guidelines in 2008. Considering the policy areas in the field of sport, the European Union (2008) thereby highlights that the “overall aim of sport policy should be to increase participation in quality sport among all segments of society” (EU,2008, p. 11). Therefore necessary resources and key stakeholder should be identified and barriers for participation need to be addressed. The EU (2008) distinguishes four main groups of actors (central government, regional and local government, organized sport sector, and non-organized sport and physical activity) and suggests various guidelines for action for the member states. Especially to be emphasized are the guidelines that an evaluation system should evaluate the effects of sport policy at different levels and different times, and that sport policy should be evidence-based with public funding supporting sport science. The European Union Work Plan for Sport constitutes a further policy paper for sport at European level (EU, 2011). The first issue of the plan for the time period of 2011 - 2014, was assessed as quite successful (European Commission, 20142 ). Besides an establishment of dimensions in sport within the Work Plan, the respective plan contains propositions of specific actions. Anyway these actions have rather been seen as invitations or recommendations for member states, the presidencies of the Council, or the Commission. A specification on youth sport has not been included within the priority themes. The subsequent Work Plan of the time period from 2014 until 2017 rather focuses on sport with contents like the Erasmus+ program, or the Youth Conference as structured dialogue.

In the result section of this thesis the structure of youth sport at European level will be displayed deeper, complied with the outcomes of the empirical investigation. The pan-European sport structure thereby shows a pretty complex system. However analyzing and comparing the compositions on national level poses a major challenge. The unambiguously distinguishable twenty-seven unique sport systems compose a sophisticated picture on European level. The incorporation of sport in the European countries varies from constitutional embodiment to sport legislation and legal regulations until occasional legal regulations. The systems further differ in the existence of a national umbrella body and the interplay of governmental and non-governmental bodies, as well as in the variety of financial support structures (Tokarski, Steinbach, Petry & Jesse, 2004; Tokarski, Petry, Groll & Mittag, 2009). In their article about models of sport governance in the European Union, Siekmann and Soek (2010) distinguish between “interventionist” and a “non-interventionist” sports legislation models, depending on whether it contains a specific legislation on the structure and depending on the interference of the state. Moreover they differ the sports legislation frameworks in existence of sport in the constitution and sport acts, as well as direct or indirect financing by the state. Their compact comparison of the different national structures shows that sports governance is numerously settled in a ministry together with youth or family or education. Concluding it is important to emphasize that the dynamics of sport systems complicates a comparability of the different structures.

Regarding the youth sport systems on national level, the European countries display massive differences. De Knop (1996) collected data on trends in youth sport from eleven European countries over a period of ten years. His findings highlighted inter alia the need for good cooperation between different agencies, like sport clubs, schools and municipalities, to offer sport as educational environment for all children. He further recommended future policy for youth sport should emphasize on pedagogical qualifications for youth sport coaches and the promotion and the enabling of informal sport participation during childhood. Anyway he wisely concluded that the problems of sport cannot be solved solely within the sport system, since they are linked to the problems of society. Unfortunately a comparable updated study, building on these findings of the nineties, is still lacking contemporary.

In the following, two European countries, Germany and Finland, were chosen exemplary to show the differences between national youth sport structures. These two countries were chosen because of the similarity to the Austrian structure in the case of Germany, and because of the outstanding success in youth sport participation in the case of Finland.

2.4.3 Germany

Sport in Germany is build up on its autonomy and the principle of subsidiarity. The organization of sport at national level can be distinguished into two pillars: the public administration and the autonomous- or self-administration of sport (Petry & Schulz, 2011). Although the state has no legal obligation at federal level to sport, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has taken some subsidiarity tasks in the field of sport, like representation at international level or providing financial support. Regarding state involvement, sport belongs to the area of competence of the Federal States, which are responsible for subsidization of sport in fields of leisure, sport for all, school sport, and sporting facilities. According to Bergsgard et al. (2007) sport policy has become an increasing national concern in Germany in the last decades. The power for policy-making is thereby dispersed. Figure 2 demonstrates the distribution of sport policy responsibilities among the different levels of government. The annual Conference of the Ministers of Sport from the “Länder” constitutes an additional important platform for discussions of sport policy. Anyway a review of over 20 conferences showed a concentration on topics like doping in sport, elite sport, sport and health, sport facilities, or relationship of the different governmental levels (Bergsgard, et al., 2007). Furthermore the legal power of the conference is limited.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2. Levels of government, location of sport policy and main tasks within Germany (Bergsgard, et al., 2007, p.122).

At the self-administered autonomous sport sector, the merge of the National Olympic Committee and the German Sports Confederation, in 2006, lead to the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), which since then constitutes the sole umbrella organization. The DOSB thereby unites federal and national sports federations, around 90.000 sport clubs, and is in charge of representing the interests of its members to the state and the public (Tokarski, et al., 2009). Despite the enhancement of independence of the sports organizations, there is a close relationship between the public sector and the federations (Bergsgard, et al., 2007). From the bottom (the sport clubs) up, organization and integration occur at all levels via voluntary membership.

In Germany almost one-third of the population engages actively in sport and recreation on an average day (Bergsgard et al., 2007). The recently published Eurobarometer by the European Commission (20141 ) shows that nearly half of the German population engages in sport on at least a ‘some regularity’ basis. Sport for all policy has been, and still is an important part of German sport policy, resulting into a high growth in number of clubs and memberships. In European comparison, Germany is in one of the leading positions with 24% of the population being members of sport clubs (European Commission, 20141 ). The provided opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity are very satisfying. However, the success can only work with the (financial) support of the government. In addition support into youth sport and specially implemented programs therefore, have positively influenced mass sport.

Regarding youth sport in Germany the structure and functioning will be displayed in consensus with the findings of the interviews in the result part of the thesis.

2.4.4 Finland

The Finnish sport culture is largely based on voluntary activities, whereby sport clubs and federations organize the majority of sporting activities. 13% of the population engages in voluntary work in sport in their leisure time (European Commission, 20141 ). The sport facilities are mainly provided by local authorities, while the Ministry’s role (Ministry of Education and Culture) lies within the creation of favorable conditions for sport and physical activity (Tokarski, et al., 2009). The ministry thereby guides sports policy through legislation and financing and further monitors the implementation of ethical principles in sports3. The most relevant legal framework for sport financing and administration constitutes the Sports Act in 1998. The purpose of the act is to promote sport at all levels, to enhance well-being and health among the population, and to support children’s growth and development through sports (Tokarski, et al., 2009). The Sports Act further demands on local government to provide sporting opportunities to the community. Sport as part of social policy has been reinforced for decades with the focus on the promotion of sport for all (SfA) above elite sport, resulting in the high participation in sport among the Finns (Collins, 2011). Several policies and programs have been developed to support mass sport participation, starting already in the late 1970s. The introduction of the Management by Results (MBR) system in 1993 brought managerial processes into the sport sector. Thereby increase efficiency and transparent evaluation should be achieved (Collins, 2011). The results of the MBR further assist the government in distributing funds to the federations, whereby 50 per cent should be allocated to the area of youth and 25 per cent each in SfA and elite sport. Anyway these recommendations are not mandatory for the sports federations. According to Collins (2011) the government’s influence alternates between a hands-off approach and a direct intervention. Sometimes the government has directly intervened, although a strong commitment to ensure that sports organizations retain autonomy has been maintained.

As mentioned prior, sport in Finland is structured both in governmental and non-governmental organizations. The two main governmental institutions are the Ministry of Education, where the Sport Division is located in, and the local municipalities. Municipalities have developed cross-sectoral collaboration, working closely together with other policy fields, like health, transport, environment, youth, and education. At the center of the non-governmental level stands the sport clubs which particularly are responsible for the high participation, especially among the youth. Prior to 2013, the Finnish Sports Federation (SLU) constituted the national umbrella organization for Finnish sport, comprising about over hundred sports organizations as members (Figure 3). The main aims of the SLU lay within the support of the member organizations’ interest, the enhancement of the reputation of sport, the steadily improvement of preconditions in sport, and the support for education and training. In the 2006 adopted strategy, the SLU aimed to increase the number of actively engaged people, to ensure working environment in non-profit volunteer clubs and organizations, and to add cooperation between different partners (Collins, 2011).

[...]


1 Access: 19th October 2014

2 http://science.orf.at/stories/1728642/ (Access: 19th November 2013)

3 http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Liikunta/?lang=en

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Title
Youth Sport Policy in Austria. Analysis and Development of Quality Indicators at National Level
College
Sport Academy Cologne  (Institut für Europäische Sportentwicklung und Freizeitforschung)
Grade
1,8
Author
Year
2015
Pages
169
Catalog Number
V307618
ISBN (eBook)
9783668058767
ISBN (Book)
9783668058774
File size
4720 KB
Language
English
Tags
Jugendsport, Youth Sport, Youth Sport Policy, Youth Sport Austria, Jugendsportpolitik, Qualitätskriterien Jugendsport
Quote paper
Ursula Witzani (Author), 2015, Youth Sport Policy in Austria. Analysis and Development of Quality Indicators at National Level, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/307618

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