Health Education Journal vol:74 issue:5 pages:531-543
Setting and Objective: For decades, the World Health Organisation has promoted settings-based health promotion, but its application in leisure settings is minimal. Focusing on organised sports as an important leisure activity, the present study had three goals: exploring the health promotion profile of youth sports clubs, identifying objective club characteristics (e.g. size, type of sport), predicting the presence/absence of health promotion in youth sports clubs and identifying perceived motives and barriers to health promotion in youth sports clubs, thereby improving the basis for policy guidelines.
Method: Respondents were representatives from the board of 154 youth sports clubs. Data were collected through an online survey, including the health-promoting sports club index (HPSC-I). Linear regression and analysis of variance were used to identify predictors and differences.
Results: Even though the motives were strongly supported, a majority of youth sports clubs were rated as low health promoting on the HPSC-I (59%). Overall, linear regression indicated that clubs founded more recently, offering multiple types of sports and offering both recreation and competition scored higher on the health promotion indices. Health promotion not being a priority of the board and lack of expertise were identified as the most important barriers.
Conclusion: Progress is needed before youth sports clubs can truly be considered health-promoting settings. Policy suggestions are made to address the barriers, for example, financial incentives to maximise efforts and establishing collaborations between sports clubs and health promotion experts.