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Physical Activity, Extracurricular Sport and the '5x60' Initiative: Leisure Lifestyles and Young People in Wales, 2007-2009

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The growing concern about health, obesity and social exclusion (Department of Health, 1992; Health Education Authority, 1998; Bramham, 2008), together with the recognition of sport‟s wider societal role (Coalter, 2001), has resulted in the prioritisation of physical activity engagement for young people (Department of Culture Media and Sport and Strategy Unit, 2002; Welsh Assembly Government, 2005). Funded by Sport Wales (SW), this thesis presents a young person-centred approach and offers a leisure lifestyle framework for young people together with a Welsh School Sport Framework for the „5x60‟ initiative in Wales. Managed by SW, the „5x60‟was launched in September 2006 in Welsh secondary schools with the intention of contributing towards Welsh Assembly Government‟s targets for pupils to achieve 60 minutes of sport and physical activity five times a week. The „5x60‟ initiative is delivered through „5x60‟ Officers with the purpose of increasing extracurricular physical activity opportunities for pupils, especially those identified as non-active.

Fieldwork was conducted in two phases:

  1. an exploratory study in six secondary schools geographically distributed throughout Wales between December 2007 and June 2008, in three-week periods; and 
  2. an in-depth focused study at two of the original six schools visited.


Data were obtained from a mixed-method approach of focus groups with pupils, classroom activities with pupils, interviews with staff, and observations. The classroom activities helped identify different groups of young people: the Leisure, Sporty, Sporty-Arty and Arty pupils. The classroom activities also proved to be a useful tool for the '5x60' Officers to get to know and establish rapport with the young people.

Based on the empirical findings, four theoretical themes emerged:

  • a young person-centred approach;
  • the young people‟s leisure lifestyles;
  • the heterogeneity of the young people;
  • and gender.

There were also two overriding operational themes; the social contact with the officer, and the experience of the club / activity. The influence of all of these varied according to the group of young people, the effect of school locality; and individual characteristics (specifically, the effect of a Welsh language school).

Throughout the thesis there is a reflective commentary on the research journey which ends the thesis with a reflective epilogue.



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APA reference for this document


Reference :   Leyshon. A.S. (2011). Physical Activity, Extracurricular Sport and the '5x60' Initiative: Leisure Lifestyles and Young People in Wales, 2007-2009. Cardiff: University of Wales Institute


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Download this file (five60thesis201103.pdf)five60thesis201103.pdfLeyshon. A.S. (2011). Physical Activity, Extracurricular Sport and the '5x60' Initiative: Leisure Lifestyles and Young People in Wales, 2007-2009. Cardiff: University of Wales Institute
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 March 2013 13:22  

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