Interpreting the place and role of Olympism in higher education is a necessary and pertinent issue. The close relationship between the Olympic Movement and universities dates back as far as 1894. The fact that the IOC was established at Sorbonne University – the “temple of science,” as Pierre de Coubertin called it – contributed to this, as did Coubertin himself. The development of sport, as well as the importance and social impact of the Olympic Games, later prompted interest among individual researchers and teams of scholars at universities. The general interest among universities in Olympism and the Olympic Games in the 1980s intensified their direct and indirect cooperation with the Olympic Movement, both in terms of education and research (c.f. Morgas, 2006). Another mediator in this process comprised the activities of the IOC and the IOA, as well as the establishment of a new Olympic Museum, which has been illustrating the connection between Olympism, sport, and culture since 1993, whilst also developing and supporting the concept of education and research projects at universities. Nonetheless, the educational and research leanings of universities, as well as the forms in which they cooperate with national Olympic Movements and the themes that have been dealt with, often differ. National specificity is important in this regard. Consequently, the starting point for our report is the Czech Republic, which makes no claims to represent the general situation.
First of all, I wish to thank the President of the IOA, Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos, and the Director, Mr. Dionyssis Gangas, for their honoring invitation to speak as a lecturer at this Session. I share with both of them a sincere, enduring friendship and sports cooperation.
The title of my contribution is exactly as requested of me by the International Olympic Academy (IOA). However, the methodology adopted and the contents of this paper may disappoint my hosts, as I am not going to focus solely on the role of the National Olympic Academies (NOA).
Socrates was famous for questions rather than answers. Even his one recorded intervention in Athenian politics was accomplished without a speech or a statement. Socrates was one of five men who were ordered by the Thirty Tyrants to detain Leon of Salamis. The others complied, and Leon was arrested and killed, but Socrates simply went home. He was likely saved from death only by the democratic restoration soon after. We should, therefore, pay all the more attention to what Socrates said on another occasion when his life was on the line, at the end of his trial for corrupting the youth of Athens (among other offences). Found guilty as charged, Socrates faced the death penalty, but had the opportunity of proposing an alternative sentence. He opted (or so Plato says) for the greatest honour the Athenian community could bestow:
“The Olympic Games are not just ordinary world championships but a four-yearly festival of universal youth, ‘the spring of mankind,’… multiple ambitions in all forms…To the ancient Greeks, the Olympics were as much a matter of art as athleticism.”
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of the Modern Olympic Games
Horseracing was once the most popular spectator sport in the United States. With the legalization of Native American casinos and the proliferation of Internet gambling, attendance at racetracks, including those in California, has fallen to record low levels. The current recession has weighed even more negatively on the industry. This paper examines the economics of racing in the nation’s most populous state from the perspective of the trainer, who operates the stable and determines when and where a racehorse will run, and under what circumstances. Over 20,000 Californians are directly employed in the horseracing industry, and their continued livelihood depends largely on whether trainers are willing to ride out uncertain times or relocate to states where the cost of operating thoroughbred racing stables is lower. Utilizing personal interviews, a group of California-based horse trainers were surveyed in order to gain insight into how they view the current business climate as well as other factors impacting the sport. The results indicated that trainers share a number of common concerns, particularly with regard to lower purses, a declining owner base, and synthetic racing surfaces. All have faced challenges in maintaining profitable stables, yet display resilience in terms of staying the course and retooling the traditional business model.
Key Words: Horseracing, Trainer, Synthetic Track, Costs, Diversification
Full Title: A longitudinal study to determine and comprehend the relationship between preschool children’s level of proficiency in motor skills and the level of their physical fitness as adolescents
The epidemic of pediatric obesity and associated health-related issues in America is correlated with sedentary behavior and physical inactivity. The purpose of this longitudinal research study was twofold: a) to determine if a relationship existed between the level of motor skill proficiency among children at preschool and the level of physical fitness in adolescence and b) to determine if the embedding of learned motor patterns associated with physical activity correlated with physical fitness longitudinally. In 1988, the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD), which assesses locomotor and object control skills, was administered to 140 preschool-aged children, ages 4 to 6 years, who were recruited purposively from two day care centers in a large metropolitan city. In 1999, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) Fitness test, which has correlational validity with the TGMD (p < 0.01) and assesses cardiorespiratory, muscular/strength, flexibility, and body composition, was administered to 140 of the original subjects, aged 14 to16 years. Data analysis was completed using multivariate statistical procedures. Results indicate that the level of proficiency in motor skills in early childhood is predictive and correlates with the level of physical fitness in adolescence (p < 0.001). Further, embedded motor patterns in the primary motor cortex can be physically assessed and correlate with the presence or absence of the targeted learning physical activity objectives. Physical activity in early childhood is positively correlated with physical fitness in adolescence, supporting the importance of pedagogical practices in physical education that promote the physiological and psychological embedding of behaviors which encourage physical activity. Future research is warranted to determine the relationship between physical fitness and cognitive development in children and adolescents.
Key Words: Adolescent, Childhood, Fitness, Abilities
Sports entrepreneurship courses are part of sports management programs because some students hope to own their own sports-oriented business, and major sports conglomerates look to hire employees with entrepreneurial skills. Sports management instructors prepare students for these challenges. However, not all sports entrepreneurship instructors have owned their own businesses nor worked for large sports corporations. As a result, this study was conducted to determine if sports entrepreneurship instructors and sports entrepreneurs agree on the content that should be taught in sports entrepreneurship courses in order to prepare students for the real-world.
Results of the study indicate that sports entrepreneurship instructors do agree on a set of content standards for sports entrepreneurship courses, specifically, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education National Content Standards (1). Additionally, when ranking the content skills, sports entrepreneurship instructors and sports entrepreneurs agreed on four of the five top skills students should be taught in order to be successful sports entrepreneurs.
Key Words: Sports Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs, Sports Education, Sports Entrepreneurship Courses
The loss of bone density is becoming a major health concern in industrialized societies. Increasing bone density during puberty and young adulthood is considered the best option for preventing the negative health consequences associated with osteoporosis, even in middle aged and older adults an exercise program can increase bone density. While low volume impact oriented aerobic activities like running have been shown to be effective at increasing bone density excessive endurance training has been linked to low bone density. Strength training remains the best option for adults wishing to increase bone density. A regular program of high load (60-85% 1RM) training three or more times per week using a variety of exercises that challenge all major muscles has been shown to significantly increase bone density even in elderly adults.
Key Words: Bone Density, Exercise, Osteoporosis, Training
The purpose of this study was to determine the level of compliance with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) track and field hammer facility recommendations at division I universities in the United States. A 35-item survey instrument was distributed to 279 applicable schools with a 28% response rate. A total of 78.1% participants in the study reported compliance with the NCAA minimum recommendations, and 38% also met the IAAF standards. An ANOVA of the coaches' overall perception of hammer facility safety demonstrated significant differences for facility factors including the gate height, gate positioning, cage manufacturer, landing area security, and response time to maintenance issues. The NCAA may need to examine their present hammer facility guidelines and consider alignment with the new standards of the IAAF.
Key Words: Olympic, International, Track and Field, Equipment, Cage