Can We Talk about European Public Policy in the Field of Sport?
Despite the continuous deepening, development and enlargement, the members of the European Union still diverge in their policies and have to find a way to diminish this divergence. The social, economical and cultural significance of sport is well known in the whole of Europe. Accordingly, in the recent past, the various institutions of the European Union have come to pay more attention to sport issues. An important milestone of this was the European Commission issuing a White Paper on sport, and the inclusion of sport in the Lisbon Treaty. However the question is raised: Is there a European public policy of sport? The author's objective was to investigate this question. This paper aims to highlight the European sport policy and tries to find the answer to the following question: can we talk about European public policy in the field of sport? The research examines through the analysis of documents whether sport can be regarded as an element of public policy. We can talk about common public policy of a certain area if it corresponds to the following five criteria: content, social competence, coercive factor, normative orientation and programme. In the first part, the content and the social competence are analyzed, and then some critical issues of the definition, namely of the public policy will be discussed. In the opinion of the author, the most problematic criterion is the programme, which presumes at least a mid-term European sport conception. It is especially important that sport could fulfil its community building, identity-forming role to which it is suited in the continuously enlarging Europe. Finally the author draws the conclusion that the European sport policy corresponds partly to the above-mentioned criteria; however, the realization of the Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan included in the White Paper, and the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty can create opportunities for sport to become a public policy of the European Union.
Post-transformational Trends in Hungarian Sport (1995-2004)
The radical political and economic changes of 1989-1990 in Hungary affected all societal subsystems. In sport there was neither revolution from below nor relevant reforms from above prior to the regime change. The aim of this paper is to present the further development that are the post-transformational trends in Hungarian sport. The topic is approached from modernization perspectives. The information for the study was gained by various methods, such as analysis of documents, in-depth interviews, and participant observation. The results are analysed by three major dimensions: over-politicization, re-centralization, and paternalism. The findings show that the changes in sport were undergone in a very controversial manner, they were rather incremental than discontinuous. Neither a modernized sport model nor a national sport strategy on the basis of which a new model should have been built was founded. In Hungarian sport there seems to be an aversion and resistance to modernization. In conclusion the author states that Hungarian sport won a few battles, but it lost the war. A more democratic and a truly modern turnaround in the institution of sport is still expected. The transformation of Hungarian sport is continuing.
Class or Mass: Sport (for All) Politics at a Crossroads
Hungarian sport politics has long tradition not to accomplish the — otherwise ideal — objectives declared in the overall sport conception for the same period. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the contemporary National Sports Strategies, the contradictory character of their realization and some major conditions of the improvement of all Hungarians' involvement in sport. By way of introduction the notions of sport policy, sport politics and sport for all politics are clarified. Then the methods for collecting information (analysis of documents, in-depth interviews and participant observation) are presented. The main body of the contribution consists of three parts. Firstly a brief overview is given on the legacy on the grounds of which the current sport politics had to start from, with great emphasis of the changing role of the state, civil society and the business sector in the process of planning, developing and supporting the population's sporting activity. Secondly the today's sport policy and the true situation in sport for all are discussed according to the following dimensions: (1) the underprivileged position of sport for all; (2) the lack of the necessary co-operation between sport and other sub-systems, such as education, public health; (3) the low proportion of state aid to be given for sport; (4) the disparity of state financing between the individual fields of sport: (5) the reinforcement of the increasing social inequality in sport. Thirdly the author makes attempts to outline a developmental trend state responsibility in sport for all by answering a crucial question: Whose responsibility is it? In conclusion it is stated that historical opportunity for changing radically the traditional sport politics was missed during the last 15-20 years. The political approach to sport by the individual governments might have been different, but the very essence of their sport politics was rather similar. The core values guiding their sport politics were very positive all the time; however they have not been realized in either period. The author is of the opinion that the vision of a "sporting nation" suggested by the present-day National Sport Strategy seems to be attractive, but she calls the attention to the missing political and financial garantees that would enable to approaching it and urges to promote a more democratic, a m ore just and a truly modern turn in sport politics
Social Exclusion/Inclusion in the Context of Hungarian Sport
Similar to international trends, this investigation of social exclusion/inclusion from sport was preceded by studying the impact of poverty on sport participation in Hungary. Research was made on inequality of chances and on the disadvantaged position of the lower classes in sport, even in state socialism. Following the transformation of the political regime in 1989-1990, there was a growing interest in exploring unequal social opportunities in sport, not only by marginal social groups, but also by the increasing number of lower middle class people dropping behind. However, Hungarian sport has never been studied in the context of social exclusion/inclusion. The objective of this paper is to approach sport in Hungary from these perspectives. Attempts are made to answer the following questions: in which fields of Hungarian sport can social exclusion be observed? How is social exclusion from sport linked to age, gender, dwelling place, socio-economic status and to the lack of cultural and social capital? How is the concept of social exclusion/inclusion understood by the actors in Hungarian sport? How can sport be used as a means to promote social inclusion for people marginalized by economic, social and cultural barriers? In order to answer the above questions, the following methods were used: analyses of recent research findings on Hungarians' sport participation with a focus on deprivation; in-depth interviews with key persons (N= 15) in Hungarian sport with the aim to discover how the concept of social exclusion/inclusion is understood by them; and analyses of documents to explore which measures have been taken by sport policy to tackle social exclusion. The results show that exclusion from sport is widespread in Hungarian society. It is linked in a combined way to poverty, education, ethnicity, age, and settlements. It is established in early childhood and lasts the whole life cycle. Key excluded groups are in hopeless situations due to economic, social and cultural aspects, so they cannot overcome this problem alone. They receive assistance in several other areas, but they are left to their own resources in sport-related issues. Legally they should have access to sport, but they cannot claim their rights. The concept of combating social exclusion is generally not incorporated into the objectives and values of sport clubs and federations; it has not yet been an integral part of sport culture in Hungary. Government documents contain declarations in connection to tackling social exclusion, but very few actions are implemented to promote social inclusion. A major conclusion of the paper is that a serious modification of sport policy does not mainly depend on the lack of financial recourses but on the lack of a strong determination of the Government. The involvement of the Hungarian population in sporting activity and the intention for their inclusion are much lower than it could be under the present economic circumstances.
The current economic crisis is the worst one in decades; it is surely the worst one the world has experienced since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Although it has affected countries with different positions in the global village in different ways and to different degrees, it has had worldwide consequences in most sub-systems of societies, including sport. These are hot issues in management and in everyday practice; still, relatively little attention has been paid to them within the social sciences. The objective of this paper is to close this gap by studying how the recent global economic crisis has affected sport. Two spheres of sport have been selected for analysis: mega sport events and grassroots sports. These two fields were chosen because of their social importance and because there is little scientific evidence about how they face and answer the challenges coming from the economic crisis. The topic is discussed from the theoretical perspective of the nexus of economy, politics, society, and culture. The methodological considerations refer to the lack of reliable sources for economic data related to sport. The results indicate that mega sport events have suffered less from the recession: there might be new actors, but the show goes on. The true loser is grassroots sport. Household impoverishment might lead to a decreased willingness of the individual practitioners to pay for sports goods and services and to a decreased contribution of volunteers working in sport. The funding models vary across countries, but generally both public and private funding has been reduced. In conclusion, it is underlined that no fields of sport have been left untouched by the current global economic crisis, but grassroots sports have suffered the most from it.
This is the third article of the cycle of portraits of the members of the Editorial Board and Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research, who are eminent social scientists researching the issue of sport. Among them, there are many world-class professors, rectors and deans of excellent universities, founders, presidents and secretaries-general of continental and international scientific societies and editors of high-scoring journals related to social sciences focusing on sport. The journal Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research started its activities in 2008 and gathered many readers, distinguished authors and outstanding reviewers. It is worth taking a moment to present the profiles of the individual editors, thanks to whom the journal keeps getting better and better. The journal is increasingly appreciated internationally particular among the scientists from the humanist and social areas of investigations. The rapidly increasing number of its readers and its surprisingly wide reception, indicated by the number of visits and downloads in English-speaking countries, including hundreds of universities (up to 791 were interested in the content of issue 62 of our magazine), research institutes and related libraries, as well as academics, researchers and students, should be celebrated. These data are derived only from one bibliographic data base (EBSCO). It must be noted that the journal is indexed in 41 bases.
This paper is based on empirical research that was carried out in the total population of the coaches employed at Hungarian football academies (N=196). The main objectives of the investigation were to reveal the coaches’ opinions about some major pedagogical views and to discover whether they realize their declared pedagogical values or not. The methods for collecting the data were a self-administered questionnaire, analysis of documents, and semi-structured interviews. The results are presented according to the following sub-topics: The content and the structure of the coaches’ pedagogical values and the place of education in coaching effectiveness. Based on the findings, it is concluded that the disregard of pedagogical values can cause continuous harm to both the athletes and the coaches. The personality of young players suffering from educational and emotional neglect might develop in a one-sided manner. The effect of dysfunctional consequences with the coaches might prevent them from achieving their goals. In the worst case scenario, ignoring the young players’ education can hinder the realization of the coaches’ intended objectives and can result in unintended and adverse outcomes.
In this study, the sporting activity of Hungarian school pupils is investigated with a focus on regional differences. The objective of the paper is to answer the following questions: Are there regional differences in pupils’ sporting activity, and, if yes, what is their relationship with the socio-cultural background of the pupils and the infrastructural and staffing conditions of schools? Has the 2012 introduction of daily physical education had a different effect on pupils’ leisure-time sporting activity in disadvantaged and affluent regions? Can the trends in the sporting activity of pupils be characterized as convergent or divergent since the introduction of daily physical education? The paper is based on an extensive study that relies on the most comprehensive database on physical education in schools, the National Assessment of Basic Competencies (NABC). The present study statistically analyzed eighth-grade pupil and school data from the 2010 and 2014 NABC. The results present the regional differences in pupils’ participation in sporting activity, their recent modification, and the main reasons behind the changes. In conclusion, the authors state that social, economic, and cultural inequalities are not clearly reflected in the sporting activity of students; however, certain data still call attention to the need to examine regional differences.
Nikoletta Nagy, Gyöngyi Földesi, Csaba Sós and Csaba Ökrös
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.