Sport can also boost the economy of a country and help to provide jobs related to sport in a variety of positions. The department for culture media and sport estimates that there are over 400,000 jobs related to sport and over i?? 10 billion is spent on sports goods and activities. Sport is one of the main contributors to the total value of the leisure industry, helping it grow to over i?? 150 billion, “the leisure industry is a growth industry, with a value approaching i?? 150 billion in the United Kingdom in 2000. ”
(Torkildsen, G. 2005) This shows that sport is of economic importance to the gross national product of a country, and should be fully supported by the government. There many aspects of sports development but as a whole the aims are to find more effective ways of generating interest, increasing participation and supporting performance within sport. It is able to do this effectively as the aims are clearly linked towards developing individuals within sport and influencing them to participate and enjoy the sports they play.
Sports development is also about helping organizations to better provide for a variety of sports within a community. Sports development is a very successful area within sport due to the certain structures that exist. These structures include the sports development continuum, the house of sport continuum and the active framework continuum. Each continuum acts in a similar way although there is a slight difference in the way they operate.
The sports development continuum, (see appendix A) is a basic structure that takes individuals from the foundation stage (grass roots) to the Excellence stage where there they may be competing nationally or internationally within there chosen sport. The foundation stage is about gaining interest from young children and helping them to discover and understand sport in a variety of ways. The continuum then moves up a stage to participation, where here the aim is to target those who have an interest in sport and encourage them to take part.
The next stage is the performance stage which is aimed at supporting participants within a particular sport, here they learn more about certain skills required and may start to compete against other performers. The last stage is the excellence stage which is aimed at supporting performers by giving them every opportunity to achieve their best. The house of sport continuum (see appendix C) and the active framework continuum (see appendix B) are both related to the sports development continuum, although have a more complex shell which allows greater movement between the stages.
However, the active framework continuum has no set stages, therefore a performer could jump from the learning stage straight into the world class stage and would not have to pass through the other stages to reach the goal. Due to these structures there are many benefits towards sports development, these include some of their main aims. Such as increasing the number of participants within a community, helping sports organizations to increase the use of sporting facilities and equipment and to develop pathways to encourage promising young sports people to continue to the top, or the excellence stage.
Sports development officers have a vital role in setting up these structures and making sure they work to help develop performer’s abilities and skills. Therefore sports development would not happen without these people. Sports development is a very vast subject and includes a variety of areas, although there is one main definition to define and describe the main aim of sports development, “Getting more people to play sport,”