Opportunities for Participation

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Opportunities for Participation

Introduction to the Concepts

  • Physical activity is the focus point when it comes to developing a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is a wider concept which is a lifetime commitment and involves healthy attitudes in all walks of life.
  • We need to link both physical activity and a healthy lifestyle together as it should exist in physical and outdoor recreation, physical and outdoor education and various levels of sport.
  • Physical exercise is human activity in which parts of the body or the body itself are moved vigorously. The sedentary nature of modern life means physical exercise is decreasing. The causes are increased availability of transport, the widening availability of computer games and television and an actual increases in leisure time.
  • Benefits of physical exercise have to be achieved by regularity, the intention of sustaining this improved condition and giving the individual a more balanced attitude towards physical fitness.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy


  • Play "consists of activities from which you get immediate pleasure without ulterior motive. Child's play has the following characteristics, immediate pleasure, no ulterior motive, have fun for its own sake, spontaneous, non-serious, preparation for life, exists in its own time and space and consists of activities.
  • The objective of play is primarily to have fun, however teachers or adults may encourage play as an activity and therefore it has four main objectives: to learn simple skills, improve self-realisation, learn to play in a group (teamwork) and to learn to accept the rules identified by the play group.
  • However, there is not just child's play but there is also adult's play. The basic characteristics of play are still there, but their tends to be a more mature approach. Firstly, adults tend to organise their play more, their rules and structure of play are more important than that of child's play and the outcome is also a bit more serious.
  • Immediate benefits of play include: freedom to engage in that chosen activity, enjoy the immediate pleasure of playing, can be physically challenging.....
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

  • ..... if the activity has a structure then rule agreements take place, simple team/friendship building and increased levels of individual/group confidence.
  • Development or educational benefits are rarer but there are still some: play becomes the driving force for educational objectives in physical education and more general life skills. Play is also an experience helping you develop in later life.

Physical Education

  • Physical education is "the formal educational process of acquiring knowledge and values through physical activity experiences". There is an overlap between sport, education and recreation in P.E. The education being formal P.E lessons, the sport being extra curricular activities and the recreation being playtime activity.
  • The National Physical Education Curriculum Document identifies activities which are athletics, gymnastics and dance, games and contests, outdoor activities and swimming.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

  • There are many values you achieve from physical education, they are: physical, cognitive, self-concept, aesthetic, ascetic, emotional, moral and social.
  • The characteristics of physical education are that it represents physically challenging experiences within an educational institution.
  • Most of the physical activities on the curriculum are compulsory, but extra curricular activities are optional.

Objectives and Benefits of Physical Education

  • There are many objectives and benefits of physical education: leadership, co operation, understanding, problem solving, decision making, strategy building, ethical judgements, self-realisation, personal control, effort and prowess, enjoyment, competitive experiences, skills and techniques, health and fitness.
  • The primary role of of physical education is to inculcate physical activity values in ways which encourages a life-long commitment to healthy exercise in society.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

Definition and Characteristics of Leisure

  • There are a number of definitions of leisure, "it is an activity, apart from the obligations of work, family and society, to which the individual turns of their own free will". The second definition is "it helps people to learn how to play their part in society, it helps them to achieve societal or collective aims, and it helps the society to keep together".
  • In order for an activity to qualify as leisure: it must be in your free time, but you may want to just relax or recuperate, you choose to do it, it has social values, it improves self-realisation, to improves socialising, it helps you understand the society you live in and you must like and enjoy the activity.
  • RECREATION is widely described as active leisure. Its characteristics are similar to leisure as it takes an individual away from the serious aspects of life.
  • Contentment should be a product of the recreational process.
  • The objectives include improved mental well-being, improved physical well-being, creative opportunity and ongoing commitment.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

Active Leisure as Physical Recreation

  • A definition of active leisure is "recreational commitment in a specific form of active leisure".
  • A definition of physical recreation is "the recreational pursuit of a range of physical activities, where the level of challenge is well within the capacity of all those participating. This is physical exercise in a recreational environment, which has a positive effect on maintaining a healthy lifestyle".
  • In physical recreation: those involved tend to co-operate rather than compete, they re-create pleasant experiences and introduce companionship, there are elements of physical vigour and commitment, moderated by long-term participation objectives and it lies more in intrinsic involvement rather than extrinsic rewards.
  • Objectives of physical recreation: to engage us in physical challenge, to maintain our general fitness, to give us experiences, they should be self-realising, to be culturally rewarding and endorse friendships..
  • Benefits include: allows relaxation and recovery time, it is enjoyable, non-serious atmosphere, health values, skill learning and social contact of friendship groups.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

Outdoor Education

  • Outdoor education is "the formal educational process of acquiring knowledge and values through outdoor activity movement".
  • As with P.E there are overlapping boundaries between curriculum, extra curriculum and playtime activity.
  • In addition to the characteristics of physical education, there is an offering of adventure in a challenging natural environment. Excitement, risk, discovery and challenge are all focused on as part of the natural environment side of outdoor education.
  • Benefits of outdoor education physically include: expanding the boundaries of health, presents situations requiring unexpected physical challenges and a different kind of physical prowess, involves putting children in a less predictable natural environment and it is set at a challenging level.
  • Educational benefits include: high committment, leadership,problem solving, strategy building, self awareness in critical situations, emotional thrill, group experiences.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

Outdoor and Adventurous Activities

  • Outdoor recreation: natural environment, healthy lifestyle, co-operative, risk awareness, adventure, frontier experience, sense of achievement, physical challenge.
  • There are potential hazards when performing these activities, they can be avoided by not going out in the country by yourself, knowing your own and group limitations and being prepared for all climatic and accident eventualities.
  • The objectives of outdoor activities are recreational but with risk awareness: to experience a rewarding escape into the natural environment, to face the pleasure of the unpredictable alongside the adventure, to be aware of individual and group experience and limitations.
  • To prepare accordingly.
  • To see it as a chance to be physically active and yet appreciate natural beauty.
  • Risk and Adventure can be divided into four levels. Level 1-safe experience. Level 2- challenge, not dangerous. Level 3- frontier experiences. Level 4-misadventure-real risk.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

  • High level performances at outdoor pursuits. This area takes a sportsman into the higher levels of risk and adventure, but mainly try to focus on frontier experiences.
  • The characteristics differ from outdoor recreation as they are simply taken to the upper limit of an individuals capability.
  • The objectives are: to test the effort and the prowess potential of an experienced performer, to engage in a challenge or competition with total commitment, to be aware that co-operation and comradeship could win the day and to succeed through the use of sound strategies and problem solving.
  • Benefits of outdoor recreation include: to have time to relax and recover at a pleasurable level in the natural environment, to enjoy recreation but with an exhilaration from the perceived risk, to be non serious followed by a strong feeling of achievement with success, to take advantage of the health values, to learn new techniques and gain experience, to use the freedom to help develop self esteem, to give creative opportunities enhanced by an awareness and appreciation.
  • Benefits of adventurous activities physically: successful testing of elite skills, the proving of individual prowess and the avoidance of misadventure in the future.
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Characteristics and Objectives of a variety of Phy

  • Personal benefits of adventurous activities are: test commitment and experience, learn in an atmosphere of co-operation and comradeship.


  • ' an institutionalised competitive activity that involves vigorous physical exertion and the use of relatively complex physical skills, where participation is motivated by a combination of intrinsic satisfaction associated through the activity itself, and external rewards earned by high level performance'.
  • Characteristics of sport are: institutional competition, vigorous physical exertion, complex physical skills, intrinsic satisfaction, external rewards, struggle and physical recreation.
  • To achieve sporting excellence there must be: organisational support from a professional administration, an efficient selection, top facilities and a centre of excellence and an elite system of coaching and funding.
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