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All about the Promoting Adolescent Physical Activity (PAPA)

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As we already advanced in the posts “Promotion of Wellbeing and Healthy Lifestyles” and “Research Unit in Psychology of Sports (UIPD) and Motivational Climate”, the PAPA is a programme focused on the training of football coaches for promoting the psychosocial development and the adoption of healthy life styles among the European young people. 

22 july 2016

For you to know a little more on this project, we will analyse in this post its objectives, missions, challenges and consequences. All that through a question-answer structure. Nevertheless, for more information on events and news, do not hesitate in consulting its website.

  • What is PAPA?

PAPA is a project dedicated to the improvement of the health of young people and to the wellbeing through positive experiences in sport. The initial financing for the project (three million euros approximately) comes from a research grant of four years (April 2009 - March 2013) from the European Commission (FP7 Health).

It is expected with this the development of a grounded theory and a training programme for football coaches for the promotion of the psychosocial development and the adoption of healthy life styles among the European young people who play football in their free time. This project has a wide team in which participate five countries (United Kingdom, Norway, Spain, French and Greece) and is led by Professor Joan L. from the University of Birmingham.

It is expected with this the development of a grounded theory and a training programme for football coaches for the promotion of the psychosocial development and the adoption of healthy life styles among the European young people

In it there are over 80 teams (and their coaches), which are formed by 1,000 children from 10 to 14 years old. Also, it has de support of the football national associations in the five countries it performs (the Football Federation, the Football Association of Norway, the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the Hellenic Football Federation).

Also, it has de support of the football national associations in the five countries it performs 

  • Which are its main aims?

Its main objective is helping coaches to understand how they can promote a quality motivational weather by providing them with strategies for the development of a more attractive sport,  which should led to a series of positive results for young people, including: improving their health, promoting physical activity, better levels of aptitude, avoiding the consumption of substances (for example, tobacco), improving their wellbeing, getting them to enjoy sport, making their self-esteem stronger and reducing anxiety

Likewise, we can differentiate six objectives:

  1. Identifying the key components of a training programme of coaches seated in Europe in terms of: examples of “good practices”, empirical search, contemporary motivation theories, the best functioning and the keys on child health.
  2. Developing a training programme for coaches that provide a realistic and practical strategy for primary prevention (that is, the elimination of the causes of chronic disease) in young people.
  3. Reviewing the viability and the efficacy of the programme as an approach for the education of coaches.
  4. Evaluating the efficacy of the training programme for coaches through the research of its impact in: the nature of the social and sports environment; the motivation for participating in the physical activity; wellbeing and health behaviour patterns.
  5. Distributing the principles based in the evidence of the good practice coaching and the results of the project to: the scientific community, football coaches and representatives of international associations and organisations.
  6. Taking the results of the PAPA project to the sports organisations, politicians and other responsible people.
  • Which challenges does it face?

The PAPA project answers to the challenge of how to reduce child inactivity and obesity by trying and create an environment that promotes positive experiences in sport, emotional health, in the growth and in the psychosocial development. Guided by the contemporary theories for motivation, PAPA focuses in the creation of optimal experiences for young people in football, since, in comparison with health children, obese children can experiment a worst quality of life and mental health problems, including depression.

In comparison with health children, obese children can experiment a worst quality of life and mental health problems, including depression

  • Has it got any kind of answer yet?

The main effects of this project are divided in two parts:

  1. Creating positive sports experiences: a key factor to determine whether young people continue or leave sport.
  2. The promotion of empowered coaches: the environment created by the coach can improve and give place to a better health and wellbeing for their players.
 

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