7.3 Sport, youth fitness and physical activity
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Promoting and supporting sport and physical activity among young people
Physical education in schools
Collaboration and partnerships
The topic of development and support of sport is within the competence of theMinistry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
The Council of the Minister on Sports (Rada ministra pre šport) is an advisory, initiative and expert body of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic in the field of sport. Mr. Ján Krišanda, chairman of the Judo Union, was appointed vice president.
The National Sport Center (Národné športové centrum) is the organization of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and it is aimed at talented youth and athletes in general.
As of 2012, the Government of the Slovak Republic has been appointing a Plenipotentiary for Youth and Sport (Splnomocnenec pre mládež a šport). This position is currently held by Mr. Dušan Galis. The function of the Plenipotentiary is defined by the Statute of the Plenipotentiary (Štatút SVMŠ) . The Plenipotentiary administers a separate grant program for promotion and development of sport.
The Slovak Republic has three main documents covering the development of sport and state policy in the field of sport:
- The Act No. 440/2015 Coll. on Sports
- The Conception of State Policy in the Field of Sport - Slovak Sport 2020,
- The Conception of Work with Sport- talented Youth for the period 2015 - 2020.
#The Act on Sports is aimed to promotion and development of:
- professional sport,
- amateur sport,
- organization of sport at national, regional and local level.
The Act on Sports deals with areas related to the sports organizations, national sport federations, sport representation, the responsibilities of various bodies and institutions, the information system in sport, financing in sport and others.
The Act on Sports requires regional and local authorities to develop their own Conceptions of Sports Development on their territory (e.g. the Conception of Sport Development in Košice Self-governing Region, the Conception of Sports Development in town Martin).
Local and regional conceptions of sports development are dealing with measures for:
- development of sports at schools,
- sports opportunities for general public,
- support of elite sport,
- financing of sport clubs and sport organisations,
- sport opportunities for citizens with disabilities (e.g. mobility problems, etc.)
- sport infrastructure and sport facilitates in the territory,
- information system on sports,
- public award on sport, etc.
# The Conception of State Policy in the Field of Sport - Slovak Sport 2020 (2012 - 2020) (hereinafter as “The Conception of Sport”) is the basic document that deals with the topic of promoting sport and healthy lifestyle of children and youth in Slovakia in general (Sport and Health part).
The Conception of Sport deals with other topics such as:
- elite sport support,
- sport for people with disabilities
- sport funding and legislation,
- international cooperation,
- education in the field of sport, science and research.
The Conception of Sport has two strategic objectives:
- Healthy and active society
- Successful representation of Slovakia
Specific objectives and priorities include:
- Sport promotion as a recommended mode of active leisure time for the general public, especially for children and young people
- Improvement of the quality of sport representation and the preparation of sportsman like youth
- Revitalization and building of a sport infrastructure and building of a National Football Stadium
- Sport promotion for people with disabilities
The Conception of Sport provides:
- an analysis of situation in individual areas connected to priorities (sport promotion, sport representations, sport infrastructure, sport for people with disabilities etc.),
- defines responsible bodies, strategic objectives,
- proposes actions to achieve them.
Key elements of Sport and Health part and its proposed actions:
- Sport for all - health-oriented physical activities, e.g. construction and development of sports infrastructure for recreational sport activities of the population, organization of events and edification, support of local sport organizations in engaging the public in sports activities and others.
- Physical and sport education at elementary and secondary schools, e.g. to increase of the number of physical education hours at schools, more attractive content of physical education lessons, educating teachers in Physical Education innovations, national competitions and projects for school sport promotion and others.
- Leisure time Sports Activities for children and youth, e.g. support for sport clubs at schools, youth clubs, low-threshold and community centers, publishing of good practice examples, teachers and youth coaches appreciation, and others.
- Sport competitions for children and pupils of kindergartens, elementary schools and secondary schools, information for public about the offered sports activities through the portal www.skolskysport.sk, organization of sport competitions as motivation for pupils to be more physically active and others.
- Sports activities for university students, e.g. improvement of sport infrastructure at universities, creation of sport centres, promotion of collective sports and others.
Target groups are:
- children, pupils and students
- athletic youth
- top athletes and representatives
- citizens with disabilities
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic is responsible for the Conception of Sports’ coordination and implementation.
Strategic Partners are:
- governmental and state organizations e.g. various ministries in the area of their competence,
- non-governmental field: the Slovak Olympic Committee, the Slovak Paralympic Committee, sport unions and associations, sport clubs and physical education unions, foundations,
- local self- governments (municipalities) and self-governing regions,
- schools, physical and sport education teachers,
- private sector – sponsors/donors.
The implementation period for the Conception of Sport was set for the period 2013 to 2020.
#The Conception of Work with Sport-talented Youth for the period 2015 - 2020 is another document of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic that presents:
- system of care for talented athletic youth
- key changes in the system of care identification
- further actions drafting.
The Conception of Work with Sport-talented Youth does not specify the implementation methods.
Implementation and evaluation of the Conception of Work with Sport-talented Youth being taken into action is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. There are no documents on its monitoring and evaluation available yet.
Promoting and supporting sport and physical activity among young people
1. Youth centres, established by the local government, offer various activities (including sports) within the hobby clubs. In 2018 youth centres organized 11 695 regular clubs, with more than 40% that concerned physical training and sports. As many as 11,695 interest groups were attended by 176,727 members.
2. Promoting and supporting sport in the towns and villages of Slovakia is generally ensured through:
- sport clubs and organizations at the local level
- support for civic associations in the form of grants from local authorities budgets,
- organization of towns sports events such as Sports Games, Challenge Day, Town Olympiads, etc.
Each town/village has its own conception of sport development in its territory (see 8.2)
There is no comprehensive statistics, monitoring, or evaluation of the current situation on the topic of promoting and supporting sport in towns and villages.
Examples of national initiatives and projects:
To school on a bicycle (Do školy na bicykli): a national cycling coordinator’s campaign under the auspices of the Minister of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport from 2015 supporting the use of bicycles by children and youth. In 2020, 238 schools and more than 49 888 pupils joined with regular bicycle rides to school.
Grab a Ball, not Drugs (Zober loptu, nie drogy): The project is being implemented since 2012 by the non-governmental organization Zober loptu nie drogy and its goal is to involve children and young people into collective ball sports. The project cooperates with more than 12 sports clubs in Slovakia, organizes informational and educational campaigns, competitions and other sporting events, it also supports young sportsmen and sportswomen. In 2018, almost 17,000 active participants from more than 600 primary schools throughout Slovakia joined.
European Sports Week: an international initiative by the European Commission promoting the importance of exercise and its impact on physical and mental health. The national coordinator of European Sports Week is the National Sports Center.
Show yourself to the whole of Slovakia! Ukáž sa celému Slovensku!) : grant program of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee Foundation. The aim of the program is to support young talented athletes, taking into account their sports results and the elimination of social differences.
Coaches at school (Tréneri v škole): is a program aimed at improving and making physical education lessons an experiential way of teaching, building a positive attitude towards sports and deepening children's interest in sports, as well as developing their comprehensive physical literacy in the first stage of primary schools. The program involves qualified, trained coaches together with the corresponding teachers in the teaching process of physical education classes in the 1st and 2nd year of primary school.
Physical education in schools
In addition to special departments of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, three other organizations intervene in the development of physical education in schools:
- National Institute for Education - creation of a state educational programme,
- Institution for Teachers´ Education and Training (Metodicko-pedagogické centrum)- training of physical education teachers and creation of methodologies for individual subjects,
- The National Sport Centre (Národné športové centrum)- administration of the school sport information portal.
Steering documents for physical education in schools:
- State educational programme
- School educational programme
The State educational programmefor ISCED 0, 1, 2 and 3 is issued by the The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
The State Educational Programme determines:
- main compulsory content of education and its layout,
- conditions for education,
- key competencies,
- educational standards,
- profile of a graduate,
- framework for education plan and curriculum,
- principles for the creation of school educational programmes.
State Educational Programmes for ISCED 1 and 2 were innovated in 2015 by National Institute for Education.
The State Educational Programme for ISCED 1 includes 7 training areas, including "Health and Movement". In schools it is implemented within compulsory physical and sport education.
The State Educational Programme for ISCED 2 includes 8 training areas, including "Health and Movement". In schools it is implemented within compulsory physical and sport education.
The State Educational Programme for ISCE3 includes 7 training areas, including "Health and Movement". In schools it is implemented within compulsory physical and sport education but also biology subject.
The time subsidies for subjects of physical and sports education are determined by the framework curricula that are part of the State Educational Programme. The school decides to divide the classes into school years.
- ISCED 1 - 8 lessons (45 minutes) of physical education within 4 years
- ISCED 2 - 10 lessons (45 minutes) of physical education within 5 years
- ISCED 3 - 8 hours within 4 years.
The increase of the number of hours of physical and sports education for all three levels of education is currently being discussed to 3 lessons per week.
The School Educational Programme is issued by school, it is in line with the State Educational programme. It also sets out a framework education plan and curriculum for individual subjects (including physical and sports education), hourly subsidies, educational and performance standards, methods, teaching forms and strategies, individual thematic units, evaluation methods, learning resources and others.
In school educational programmes, schools determine distribution of compulsory hours to the years set by the State Educational Programme.
Primary schools can set classes with more hours of physical and sports education - 12 hours of so-called Sports classes focused on the development of some sports.
There are no sports classes at high schools, talented students can have an individual plan and they are sporting at clubs outside of schools.
Methods and learning resources for ISCED 1 and 2 are illustrated on the example of school.
- gyms and utensils,
- video projection,
- professional literature, journals, encyclopedias
- basic swimming training
- ski training.
- games, individual kinetic exercises,
- exercises with equipment,
- collective sports,
- exercise in nature,
- sports training (swimming, skiing),
- relaxation exercises,
- competitions and matches,
- performance testing, and others.
Physical activities outside the curriculum but within the school day
Schools can organize physical activities outside compulsory school lessons, during sport days, club activities, engaging in competitions at regional or national level. Schools can provide facilities (playgrounds, gyms) for an unorganized children and youth sports.
For the activities, including sports, education vouchers (vzdelávacie poukazy) for elementary and secondary school pupils can be used. The education voucher is worth 32 € (for 2020), which is the annual state contribution to the pupil's interests in education financed by the MESRS. Vouchers are used to pay trainers, buy material, transport to competitions, and others.
The Conception of State Policy in the Field of Sport - Slovak sport 2020 includes a part devoted to sport outside of school: the starting point (weak infrastructure) and goals and measures (financial support for sports clubs, analysis of children's and youth's involvement in extracurricular sports activities, support for the development of sport in primary and secondary schools).
In 2020 Parliament approved an amendment to the Labour Code, which regulates a new contribution to the child's sports activities.
Sports competitions and activities of the Slovak Association of Sports in Schools
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic annually announces program of sports competitions for schools. Sports competitions are coordinated by the Slovak Association of Sports in Schools (Slovenská asociácia športu na školách).
Competitions have district, regional and county rounds. In school year 2019/2020, 44 sports competitions for elementary schools and 27 competitions for secondary schools (3298 schools and 20 598 participants) were organized. The results and information are published at a special information portal Sport in schools.
Slovak Association of Sports in Schools also organizes Sports Days (Školské dni športu). Unconventional competitions are aiming to attract pupils of primary and secondary schools that were not reached yet by simple physical activities as endurance relays, jumping rope, juggling with ball, kicking penalties.
Education and methodical guidance of physical education teachers:
Training of trainers and teachers of physical and sports education takes place at sports secondary schools and universities in the relevant higher education departments.
Further education and methodical guidance of physical education and sports teachers is provided by the Institution for Teachers´ Education and Training (organizing courses, publishing papers and methodologies).
Sports activity at universities
The Conception of the State Policy in the Field of Sport - Slovak Sport 2020 is also devoted to sports at universities - it contains a description of the starting point and problems, objectives and specific measures, financial support for sport at universities, building of sports infrastructure and support of college sports clubs.
Collaboration and partnerships
Information on promoting cooperation and partnerships between schools and other sports organizations at national level is not available.