Sporting and physical activity provides a means for combating diseases such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease among women. This report explains the reasons for lack of participation and the benefits of participating in sporting activities among women. The study revealed that engaging in sporting activity offered an opportunity for women to improve fitness, and social relationships. The report recommends that the community sporting organization can increase women membership through coaching programs, improved facilities and provision of affordable sporting services.
Today, unlike in the past, there are changing trends in which women increasingly engage in sporting activities. Clark contributes this to the need to increase “women participation in physical and sporting activities in order to combat lifestyle diseases such as diabetes” (2012: 1193). Stakeholders within the sporting arena recognize the significance of regular participation in sporting and physical activities by means of organized or improving fitness and social relationships. The resultant skills emerging from participation in sporting activities such as team building, application and dedication can be applied in daily situations. The sports director of a fitness club requested this report. The report seeks to identify reasons for lack of participation, benefits of participation in sports and recommend ways that can enhance increased membership in the fitness club. The report uses secondary sources of data to analyze its key findings.
2.1 Reasons for Lack of Participation
2.1.1 Social- Cultural Factors
Women identify discrimination or racism as the two major factors that inhibit their participation in sports. For example, women fear to engage in sporting activities due to deliberate exclusion from organized sports or due to public verbal abuse. Women experience indirect and subtle social-cultural inhibitors to their involvement in sports since the cultural belief of female dress and physicality contradicts requirements and norms for sporting institutions.
2.1.2 Resource Factors
Limited resources in terms of finances, facilities and time both for women and their respective sporting institutions limits the number of women who enroll for membership in a fitness club. Time is an inhibiting factor since women engage in work commitments and their family denying them the opportunity to enroll in a fitness club and their subsequent participation. In addition, organized fitness clubs charge high fees for their services, as a result, inhibiting women from enrolling in organized sporting organizations.
2.2 The Benefits of Participation
2.2.1 Health Benefits
Sporting and physical activities play a critical role towards healthy lifestyle. Healthy benefits that an individual can derive from sporting activities include: maintain a healthy weight and improving physical fitness. Young women who are involved in sporting activities are less likely to smoke, as a result, eliminating the possibilities of getting osteoporosis or breast cancer later in life (Crouter 2011). The number of women who participate in sporting activities has been on the raising trend from 1981 to 2011. The figure below illustrates this point. In general, young women are typically more active in physical and sporting activities as compared to older women, and this may be due to fact that the older the individual, the lesser she engages in sporting activities. However, the rate of reduced involvement in physical and sporting activity is prominent in older women as compared to young women. Similarly, there is an increasing trend of obesity and overweight globally. Young women who participate in physical and sports activity are generally healthier and have a reduced prevalence of obesity and overweight throughout life, eliminating their risks of getting other diseases such as “heart disease and diabetes” (Lester, Louise and Debi, 2012: 8). Participation in sporting activities is also a crucial element towards building strong bones among women, which, in turn, reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis as they age.
Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association: http://www.ncaa.org/ (accessed November 20, 2013)
From the graph, it is evident that the number of women participants in sporting activity has been on the rising trend since 1981. The graph reveals that the number of women who participate in track and field activities rose from 33 percent in 1981 to 50 percent in 2011. Increased women participation in sporting activities, is partly, due to the health benefits such reduced chances of getting diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes (Clark 2012). Further, the graph shows that the number of women who participate in swimming rose from 45 percent to 57 percent in 2001 before reducing to 55 percent in 2011. The rise in women swimmers is due to the need for these women to eliminate overweight and obesity in life…
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