This paper aims to clarify the extent to which youth sports clubs guide their coaches to recognise health promotion as a part of the coaching practice. The guidance activity of clubs is seen parallel to internal organisational communication.
A survey of 93 (from 120, 78 per cent) youth sports clubs in Finland was carried out, and a total of 273 sports club officials acted as respondents. The clubs' guidance activity was examined under three domains: sports performance time, non‐performance sports club time, and health topics.
In general, youth sports clubs were passive on guiding their coaches on health promotion. Guidance activity was evident concerning actual sports performance time, whereas non‐performance sports club time received much less attention. Health topics were guided to a varying degree in that the clubs had been active in guiding the coaches on topics such as the risks of being physically active when ill, injury prevention, and sleep/rest, whereas topics such as nutrition and the use of various substances were much less acknowledged.
The study limitations relate to self‐reported data, and the complexity of assessing sports clubs. As one of the first studies in the area, all the measurement instruments and methods were created from the outset. Therefore, further studies are required for validation purposes. Despite the limitations, this study provides pioneering baseline information.
The results indicate that youth sports clubs are still discipline and competition oriented. Health promotion guidance especially regarding non‐performance sports club time and several health topics needs to be addressed by the clubs in order to meet the clubs' own health‐related intentions.
These findings are unique in this relatively new setting for health promotion, and they can act as a baseline for research methodology development and further studies.
Kokko, S., Kannas, L., Villberg, J. and Ormshaw, M. (2011), "Health promotion guidance activity of youth sports clubs", Health Education, Vol. 111 No. 6, pp. 452-463. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654281111180454
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