Sports Participation : A Symbol Of The Olympics Games

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Introduction BRIEF HISTORY To the Greek, sports in 776 BC (about 3000 years ago) represented masculinity evidenced in the male sculpture as a symbol of the Olympics games (Bamber 2001). Women were excluded from the first Olympics games and only started to participate in the 1900 Olympics four years after the introduction of modern Olympics games (OIC Factsheet 2014). In the 1970s, western countries like Canada and the United States, saw an increase in women participation in sports involving physical activities (Messner 2011; Theberge 1991:387; OIC Factsheet 2014) with a limited percentage of women going into the area of governance and administrative bodies of the Olympics movement (OIC Factsheet 2014). IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS PARTICIPATION Sports is recognised as an important socio-economic phenomenon (Loy 1991:157-161), which plays a vital role in understanding modern culture and society (Jarvie 2006:2) to help assign educational and philosophical meaning as well as operationalising the cultural meaning of sports (Grupe 1991:135). FACTORS INFLUENCING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION NEGATIVE IMPACT The factors influencing women’s participation in sports are numerous (Byers et al 2012:148). These include a lack of facilities, time, interest, underfunding, and social hierarchy (Alexandris and Carroll 1997; Kidd 1996). In accounting for reasons for the limited and underdeveloped nature of academic work on the topic (Pedersen 1996:183), Lenskyj (2010) and Talbot (2002:282) identify

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