Recreation and sport

Leisure theorists have made specific distinctions between play, recreation and sport. Describe this differentiation and illustrate your answer with specific examples. ‘One of the chief problems of defining leisure is that it is very difficult to take an objective approach to the subject.’ (Parker, 1983, p3) ‘The word leisure is rarely used without invoking other words and concepts, the most frequent being ‘sport’, ‘art’, ‘entertainment’, ‘recreation’ and ‘play’.’ (Torkildsen, 2001, p5)

Generally ‘leisure is the opportunity and the time outside working hours to choose and take part in activities or experiences which are expected to be personally satisfying’ (Advanced Leisure and Tourism, 1998, p5) This essay addresses three leisure aspects; play, recreation and sport, their characteristics and their differentiations. ‘Play begins at birth and continues until we die. For adults its perhaps more comfortable to call it sport or recreation, art or leisure, but at some level and some degree, we all play’ (Bonel, 1993 cited in Torkildsen, 2001) ‘Through play, children develop their physical, intellectual, emotional and social ability’ (Torkildsen, 2001, p13) The roots of play reach far back into ancient times into the classical era of ancient Greece – although child labour was common the children still held an important place in classical society and were allowed to play. (Torkildsen, 2001)

Play can include playing fields, parks, adventure playgrounds and play schemes (Advanced Leisure and Tourism, 1998) but in many countries play is undervalued and provisions are under resourced. (Torkildsen, 2001) ‘Play is a powerful instrument of socialisation for both adults and children; as people grow older they find it hard to release and take part in pure play activities. An adult teaching a child to play can indulge that anarchy which maturity has untaught them.’ (Critchner et Al, 2001, p62) An activity that demonstrates play is a child in the bath playing with the water and toys or an adult dancing around the room to their favourite song on the radio. ‘Individuals begin to leave childhood behind when they start to play independently, usually with the approval of their parents and teachers who know what young people must learn to make their own ways into adulthood.’ (Roberts, 1999, p118) These give some indication to the characteristics of play; it is wholesome development that can aid social education and learning (play methods work in particular situations in the classroom (Roberts, 1999)), physical development, motor skills and creativity. (Torkildsen, 2001)

The two major psychological functions of play suggested by Giddens (1964 cited in Parker, 1983) are cathartic – dissipating tension accumulated in other spheres and ego-expansion – satisfactions of achievement and self-realisation which are frustrated elsewhere. Huizinga (1950 cited in Holowchak, 2002 Ed.) adopts the opposing view that play ‘must not be analysed purely from a scientific point of view. Any attempt to scrutinize play biologically or psychologically loses what is essential to play – fun.’

‘One of the distinguishing signs of the play world is its strict coherence to invented rules, which suspend the ordinary rules of real life.’ (Torkildsen. 2001, p16) It is a complex set of rules and has intrinsic value and personal meaning for an individual.

Leisure is a general term and just like an umbrella, covers the terms, sport, recreation and play. Leisure is the overall term. Below is a diagram to help explain the relationship between leisure, recreation, sport and play: On the continuum between …

‘Any situation or activity it appears, can function for someone as a play activity if undertaken in the spirit of play’ ‘Play can pervade all aspects of life, not just physical play but play of the mind, play of words …

Sport means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competitions at all levels. The main question is how to …

On Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Therapeutic recreation or recreation therapy is known to providing treatment and recreation services to people who have illness and are disabled including those who are mentally challenged or sick. The main goal of recreation therapy is …

Impact sport and repetitive action sport can be extremely beneficial to the skeletal system of a young performer however they also have their pitfalls. A high impact sport is like gymnastics or basketball, these sports can cause extra stress on …

The term “Sport for all” has been presented since 1966 and established by the Council of Europe. The sport for all concept includes all form of recreational and competitive physical activity. As we can say that this concept has been …

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