The Participant as an Individual

The participant as an individual.

Age, disability, gender, physique, environment, risk and challenge, activity levels and needs, training,

The participant as an individual - AGE

flexibility - decrease with age, coupled with a tendency to put on weight.

strength - decrease as you get past your peak (early 20s) weight training is not recommended for certain age groups.

O2 capacity - reduces with age as the heart becomes less efficient. arteries lose elasticity, increasing BP and reducing blood flow.

skill level - increase with age (experience) as we grow and get stronger

general health - takes longer to recover from injury, more chance of suffering from a disease, general build up of wear & tear on the body

age divisons -   school sport is organised by year groups, major sports organise competition around age but may be flexible (EG. 14-16) because age doesnt affect everybody in the same way as some people mature quicker and could cope with older opponents. However, this is not common inc ontact sports due to the risk of physical mismatch.

1 of 8

The Participant as an Individual - DISABILITY

Disability is categorised : Physical, Mental, Permanent, Temporary

sporting adaptations

  • the paralympics are held every 4 years, the events range from athletics to equestrain. first Winter paralympics was held in 1994 and the International Paralympic Comittee (IPC) encourage sports to provide competition for the disabled.
  • wheelchair basketball, the hoop height is the same but rules, such as travelling are adapted
  • adapted equiptment, EG. football for the blind th eball is audible so can be tracked.
  • disability classifications exist relating to the particular physical demand of the sport this is to make competition fair.

facilities - this is a legal requirement that all facilities cater for the disabled...

  • access - doors & doorways must be wide enough to allow for wheelchairs and ramps provided.
  • parking - disabled bays must be marked and made avaliable
  • provision - lifts must allow accessto upper floors, disabled toilets must be provided and their should be dpecific activities, clubs, classes suited to the disabled.





2 of 8

The Participant as an Individual - GENDER

physical differences... this is why males and females are judged against criteria not eachother (GCSE purposes) can advantage them in sports such as gymnastics, disadvantage them where strength&power is concerned.

  • woman tend to be smaller with a flatter broader pelvis (childbirth). bigger % of fat.
  • because of their smaller heart and lungs woman have a smaller O2 capacity.
  • women have less muscle mass, meaning they tend to be more flexible
  • girls tend to mature faster, but at 11 males start to overtake regarding height and strength so sports tends to become single sex at that age
  • femals menstuate and suffer hormal imbalance putting them at a disadvantage is participating during a period. males tend to be less effected by chemical change in their body.

perceived differences

  • discrimination has caused women to be seen as the 'weaker sex'. until 1960 they werent allowed to compete in distances more than 800 metres. some women may also find religion forbids them to fully participate as they must remain covered & this can restrict their participation.
  • it is only recently women have been granted equal opportunities to be officials, managers ETC.



3 of 8

The Paticipant as an Individual

Physique is a factor that the individual has litte control over. although you can influence your body composition and musclature, your body shape is preordained.

Endomorph - wide hips, wid shoulders, short legs in relation with their trunks and a tendency to gain fat. their bulk could be advantageous in sports such as rugby as a pack member in the scrum.

Mesomorph - broad shoulders, muscled arms and legs, narrow hips and minimum amount of fat, can excel in strength, agility and seed & particularly suited to swimming. their somatotype is unlikely to make them unsuitable for any sport.

Ectomorph - predominantly long, slender and thin with narrow hips & shoulders, thin arms and legs and minimal muscle and fat. their slender build makes them unsuitable for power and strength but they excel in endurance sports such as marathon running and gymnastics where their light frame is an advantage.

most game players would not fit into any of these extremes and in most sports it is possible to take place whatever your somatotype. no account is made of height in this classification.

4 of 8

The Participant as an Individual - ENVIRONENT

weather - although you have no control over this, a proffessional performer might be ale to afford to go to a country where the weather is suitable. weather affects both training and competing separately.

training - you need access to appropriate conditions, if you are a marathon runner tou need to carry out long distane runs however this may not be possible on icy roads.

competing - many activities stop if the weather is poor

pollution - air pollution can affect both training and competing because it is a serious health risk for anybody participating. if pollution levels are high then training will be restricted to indoors where there is some form of climate control.

altitude - training & perfomring at hight altitude can be a real benefit for people taking part in endurance events as it can increase O2 carrying capacity of the blood as air is less dense and O2 levels are low.

humidity - relates to the amount of water vapour int he air. leads to dehydration, in the World Cross Country Championships 2007, humidity lead to 20% of competitors failing to complete the race

terrain - the landscape you require can be crucial to your sport

5 of 8

The Participant as an Individual - RISK AND CHALLE

challenging activities  - outdoor and adventurous activities clearly have many challenges. water/climbing activities involve difficult conditions and a chalenging environment. there are often scales of challenge (once one has been completed there is a harder one)

challenge within activities can also be a factor, EG. to tackle a bigger opponent in rugby or to run 26 miles in a marathon.

risk asssesment is vital so that potential hazards are spotted before an activity takes place. all aspects of the environment must be considered in order to be sure that a degree of chaallenge is still present but safety is considered.

risk control ... participants should perform within the rules of their activity and avoid foul play. this includes making sure equiptment is in good condition and no jewellery is worn

organisers need to ensure they are fully qualified to be in charge of a group so they dont mix age and gender, there arent too many taking part and the group has suffieciently warmed up.

safeguards - it is vital that there is always first aid equpitment and qualified first aiders or telephones located in case of emergency



6 of 8

The Individual as a Participant - ACTIVITY LEVELS

activity needs

competitive - performers must be highly commited as they need to train to compete, they may have to be prepared to give up a full day to travel to a fixture. if they are a proffessional, they must be committed at all times

recreational - activites are not as demanding as these types of activity don't require any periods of special training or preparation. th eonly requirement is to take part in the activity for a length of time at a convinient time.

lots of time is dedicated when the performer is performing at high level. individual factors such as age meana school child may have more eisure time than an adult in full time work.

activity effects

high levels of participation bring benefits, the health benefits are clear but they can only be maintained if the level of participation is maintained. there are also benefits socially, such as the enjoyment of taking part with others and the satisfaction of success.

low and infrequent levels of activty have little or no positive effect.


7 of 8

The Individual as a Participant - TRAINING

training is the factor that the individual has the most control over

levels of participation

some performers competing at high standard willtrain daily to consider periodisation and ensure that they peak at the right time - usually coinsiding with a big event.

  • pre-season the time leading up to the majority of competition, an initial period of preparation, concentrating on fitness and developing specific technique
  • peak-season the main competitive period, here there is  concentration on skills, ongoing fitness as well as participation in the actual competition
  • post-season this is mainly a period of rest but there is still a need to keep up levels of general fitness

availalable time is crucial. swimmers will have a small allocated time of training before the pool opens to the public so for an amateur, fitting in training can be difficult

available funds the amount of money you have also has an effect as more funds can mean more time, better facilities and equiptment and even the possibility of hiring a coach or trainer. SPONSORSHIP




8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar Physical Education resources:

See all Physical Education resources »See all Participation in physical activity resources »