The correlates of sports participation in Europe
2017-03-16T11:32:31Z (GMT) by
Based on the Eurobarometer data from 2009 (N = 26,788), this paper investigates the correlates of sports participation. In addition to examining standard socio-demographic, economic and lifestyle factors, the paper also focuses on the impact of motivational factors, the availability of sports infrastructure and government support, for the first time collectively at the European level. A further contribution of the paper is that it simultaneously investigates both the decision to participate in sport and the frequency of sports participation in this context. This is made possible through the application of a Zero-Inflated Ordered Probit estimator. This estimator also takes into account two types of non-participants: those who have never participated in sport and those who did not participate at the time of the survey. The results show that the decision to participate in sports and the frequency of sports participation of males and females are affected by different factors, therefore distinct government policies should be applied to attract new, and retain the existing, participants. For example, women are affected more by a need to improve self-esteem, while the men to produce social integration. The provision of sports facilities is of more importance for males, which may indicate a male-oriented nature of the sports facilities, for example, the gym. However, the number of adults and the number of children in the household reduce the probability of sports participation by females. Therefore, higher provision of childcare may be important if female participation is to be increased.