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01.12.2014 | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Urban Health 6/2014

A Capacity Building Approach to Increase Sports Participation in Disadvantaged Urban Communities: A Multilevel Analysis

Journal of Urban Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Mathieu Marlier, Greet Cardon, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Annick Willem


Recent evidence showed that community capacity building is one of the key methods to reach health improvements within disadvantaged communities. Physical activity and sports participation are important means to reach health improvements. This study investigates a capacity building method which aims at increasing sports participation in the community, especially for individuals at higher risk of sports deprivation. The main aims of the present study, are the following: (1) to examine differences in sports participation between individuals living in communities implementing a sports-based capacity building program and individuals living in communities without such capacity building program and (2) to investigate if the community sports program reaches the individuals known to experience higher barriers to engage in sports. In Flanders, Belgium, five disadvantaged urban communities implementing the community capacity building program (program communities) and four without (control communities) were selected based on similarity of sociodemographic and environmental characteristics. Two hundred adults (aged 18–56 years) per community were randomly selected and visited at home to fill out a questionnaire on sociodemographics, sports participation, and the community sports program. A sample of 414 adults participated in the study. Results showed that adults from program communities reported on average 96 min/week more participation in sports than their counterparts living in control communities. Furthermore, 61.3 % of the individuals of program communities indicated to engage in sports, whereas in control communities, this was only 42.4 %. Respondents at higher risk of sports deprivation also engaged in significantly more sports participation in program communities than those in control communities. This difference was also noted for groups that are not related with sports deprivation. These results are promising and plead for a community capacity building approach to increase sports participation in disadvantaged communities.

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