Sports as a preventive measure of at-risk behavior among urban youth: a presentation of the “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”

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The objective of this paper was to present an original project titled “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”, designed to reinforce positive behavior and create a sense of community among urban youth. It evolved together with the subsequent phases of an urban health promotion program that began in 1994 in Wrocław, Poland. However, the basis of this model was in creating a health promotion initiative that included elements of the Mandala model of health, an ecological model, and the ‘Your Neighborhood’s Coach’ health promotion and at-risk prevention program, begun in 2003 by the Sports Department of the City of Wrocław and continued to this day. This type of initiative was designed to include measures typical of a prevention program while also promoting an active lifestyle through constructive leisure activities. Its guiding philosophy was the ‘get involved’ rather than ‘dissuade from’ approach, which has found popularity in programs of a similar nature across the world. The presented “Multifactorial Environmental Model” is addressed to active counselors, coaches, psychologists, health promotion figureheads, and policymakers whose goal is to reduce negative and anti-social behavior in today’s youth. It should also find value among the pedagogical community of physical education institutions, as the presented work may serve as a source of experience when deciding on any significant changes in the education of future physical education teachers, coaches, and recreation instructors working with adolescents.

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