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Pedro Encarnação, Sylvie Ray-Kaeser, Nicole Bianquin and Serenella Besio

Open access

Nikoletta Nagy, Gyöngyi Földesi, Csaba Sós and Csaba Ökrös

Abstract

Based on our empirical research, through the analysis of the birthdates of young competitive swimmers, the present paper aims to examine the system of talent selection and management in Hungarian competitive swimming complemented with a new element. The research population consisted of the registered junior competitive swimmers participating in the new talent management program of the Hungarian Swimming Association (N=235; average age: 11.44) due to the decision of the Coaches’ Committee. Our research was based on the analysis of documents and databases. Besides the descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests and the Kruskal-Wallis test were applied. The results show that swimmers born in the first three months of the year are still more likely to be recruited in the program than their relatively younger counterparts. Furthermore, as a potential effect of the new program, the dominance of the first quarter of the year is also characteristic among those eligible for the next level of talent management. The new selection system of Hungarian swimmers is still highly sensitive to the relative age. Thus, it is recommended to further investigate the functioning of the new talent management program in terms of selection and success.

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George Karlis, Aida Stratas, Marianna Locke, François Gravelle and Genie Arora

Abstract

Health care and leisure services, although different, are similar from the perspective that both focus on enhancing quality of life by improving health and wellbeing. Although both of these services are vitally important, some groups such as aged immigrants face a number of barriers that may limit their access to these services. This paper examines and discusses two related areas of the service sector – health care and leisure – and the growing concern to address the needs of Canada’s aging population, specifically, aged immigrants. The paper concludes with the following five suggestions for health care and leisure service providers to alleviate barriers faced by Canada’s ethnic aged: 1) Recognize that health care and leisure are closely related, 2) Understand the changing nature of society including trends in immigration, 3) Get to know society’s diversity of aged immigrants, 4) Evaluate current services provided, and 5) Establish future goals and directions.

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Núria Puig, Susanna Soler and Anna Vilanova

Abstract

This article presents a biographical-professional outline of the career of Núria Puig. The authors place this outline in the Spanish socio-political context stretching from 1976 until the present day. A brief biography is followed successively by descriptions of formal training, mentors, institutional projects, teaching experience, and research. In the conclusion, a general evaluation is made of her professional career.

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Tünde Szabó, Miklós Stocker, Balázs Győrffy and András Nemes

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate long-term sports injuries, their prevalence, general identification of and consultation about injuries, and the knowledge among Hungarian athletes related to injury prevention. A questionnaire was designed to survey athletes regarding these topics. Olympic medal winners, nationally selected athletes, and amateur athletes were surveyed, and altogether 502 completed questionnaires were obtained. The data was analyzed with the Chi-square test for dichotomous variables and the Kruskal-Wallis H-test for questions with the Likert scale to try the statistical power of the hypotheses. The results of our analysis show that athletes suffer injuries regardless of their level of play, and that athletes regard their sports to be moderately dangerous. Most athletes would compete despite the risk of permanent injury; they compete with injuries mostly of their own volition; and they will risk potential injuries or long-term health damage to gain exceptional outcomes. Success is the first and foremost desire of athletes, and the risk of injuries or even long-term health damage does not play an important role in the value system of Hungarian athletes. Sport managers and officers of sport federations must be made aware that the first line of prevention of sport injuries is comprehensive medical consultation with proper medical coverage.

Open access

Carlos Rey Perez

Abstract

In Ancient Greece, the figure of the hero was identified as a demigod, possessed of altruistic and virtuous deeds. When Pierre de Coubertin reinstated the Olympic Games, the athlete was personified as a modern hero. Its antithesis, the anti-hero, has more virtue that defects, no evil but he does not care on the means to achieve his goals. In the eyes of everyone involved in sports competition, these characters captivate and at the same time, create conflicts of ethics and aesthetics. The purpose of this paper is to perform an ethical reflection linked to principles that contribute for the human growth and accomplishment, as well as the aesthetic on the perception of the sensitive, reverberated by sensations and feelings emerging from athletes. Connecting the ethic with the aesthetic spheres, we could have in the sports a phenomenon walking toward a common point between moral and aesthetic, between the good and the beauty.

Open access

Zoltan Marczinka and Andrea Gál

Abstract

A long, historical cooperation exists between sport and the media. The media can lift up the profile of a sport, and sport provides a marketable topic/product to talk about. Rules have been changed and playing conditions adapted to add to the glamor and spectacle of sport, thus making sport more marketable, enhancing media coverage and making it more appealing for the viewer. In the history of handball, rule changes have been introduced for the same purpose. However, changing the rules has a great effect on the team’s performance, and thus on the coaches’ work as well. There is no doubt that among the rule modifications introduced by the International Handball Federation (IHF) in 2016, substituting the goalkeeper for another court player during an attack without wearing a special shirt has had the greatest impact on the game in recent times. The main aim of the study was to carry out empirical research in order to analyze the recent rule modifications by the IHF, particularly when substituting the goalkeeper for an extra court player during an attack. The 2017 World Championship in France provided an ideal opportunity to collate data in order to explore how often and effectively teams used this rule change at the latest world event. In addition, we have also sought out the opinions of elite coaches concerning the state of current rules in handball and what they would change in order to make this sport discipline more marketable for the media and for spectators. The results show that teams substituted their goalkeeper for an extra court player when in numerical inferiority on average twice as much as when in numerical superiority and on average twice as often when losing as when winning. Surprisingly, the teams’ average scoring effectiveness was a little bit higher than when they played in numerical superiority or with an evenly reduced number of players. In addition, the outcome of focus group interviews shows that most coaches think that measuring the attacking time, introducing the third referee into the game, and having better judgment concerning the fast start-off is necessary for the betterment of the game.

Open access

Samuel Keith Duncan

Abstract

Using a combined Huizingian-Bourdieu framework, this paper analyses the significance of sport’s transformation into a business and how the prevailing business structure that defines professional sport has influenced the ‘lived experience’ of those playing at sport’s elite level. Furthermore, this paper highlights how the actions of players, coaches and other participants serve to reinforce, legitimise and normalise the business characteristics of sport’s dominant business structure.

Importantly, this paper illuminates how the professionalization of sport corrupts the act of playing and indeed gives rise to play tactics, such as ‘sledging’, which both reflects the increased seriousness of sport and, in its very execution, further reinforces the dominant business structures of professional sport, all the while corrupting the essence of sport – play.

In doing so we are challenged to consider how society’s fields could be different in structure, and in the ‘lived experience’ within the field.

Open access

Evdokia Varamenti, Zoran Nikolovski, Mohamed I. Elgingo, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas and Marco Cardinale

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to observe and report variations in several haematological and biochemical markers throughout an entire athletic season in a large cohort of adolescent athletes of Arab origin. Blood samples were collected from 72 adolescent male athletes at 4 selected time points during their training season. Results expressed in relation to plasma volume were corrected accordingly and significant variations in several variables emerged. Initial uncorrected haematological results revealed that haematocrit (Hct) and mean cell volume (MCV) concentrations noticeably increased at the competitive period (T3) and before the start of the following preseason (T4), whereas reticulocytes equivalent (Ret-He) only rose at T4 phase (p < 0.01). Conversely, corrected red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin (Hb) and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) progressively decreased over the year (p < 0.001). From the electrolytes panel, sodium and chloride considerably reduced at the peak of the training period (T2) to the start of the next preseason (T4), while a significant fall in potassium was mainly observed during the competitive period (T3) (p < 0.001). Coaches and sport scientists could use the results of this study to evaluate typical variations of each age group in order to diagnose potential adverse effects of high training loads, assist in the design of training programs and/or clinical interventions that will safeguard athletes’ health, and consider the important role of plasma volume for the interpretation of results.