Barn i rörelse : Om förutsättningar för utveckling i alternativa (?) idrottsaktiviteter

Sammanfattning: The focus of this doctoral dissertation is programs and interventions aiming to increase the proportion of children that is physically active. These efforts are called alternative sports activities as their ambition is to offer alternative developmental paths that may complement the traditional sporting environments. With a starting point in children’s experiences, the characteristics of alternative sports activities are investigated in three empirical studies. In a fourth study, focus is directed toward the organizing partners and their conceptions of the purpose of the activities. The overall aim of the dissertation is to contribute knowledge about the conditions that the environment in alternative sports activities offers to develop children's interest in physical activity.The main finding in the dissertation is that the activities are designed without a clear focus on the children who make up the target group, that is, the least active children. Instead, the conceptual starting point among organizers includes a view that children already possess the predisposing factors required for a physically active life. One consequence of this conception is that already physically active children who manage to produce physical capital are allowed to control the activities and, thus, define them as sporting environments. Another consequence of the lack of focus on less active children is that the activities are formed with a strong emphasis on bringing children and sports associations together and not on promoting long-term development which brings children closer to a sustainable interest in physical activity. The conclusion includes the view that alternative sports activities need to be designed as programs targeting the specific needs of physically inactive children rather than active and as ongoing over a brief period of time in order to create conditions for development of an interest in physical activity.