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Health promotion profile of youth sports clubs in Finland: club officials' and coaches' perceptions

Health Promotion International
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1093/heapro/dan040
  • Original Papers


SUMMARY The purpose of this article is to examine the current health promotion orientation of youth sports clubs in Finland in view of the standards created previously for the health promoting sports club (HPSC). Ninety-seven youth sports clubs participated, and 273 sports club officials and 240 coaches answered the questionnaires. To describe clubs health promotion orientations, an HPSC index was created. The HPSC index was formulated on sub-indices by factor analysis. The sub-indices were: policy, ideology, practice and environment indexes. The results indicate that youth sports clubs are fairly health promoting in general. On average, the clubs fulfilled 12 standards for HPSC out of 22. Every fourth club was categorized as higher health promoting (≥ 15 fulfilled standards), and every third as lower health promoting (<11 fulfilled standards). The variation between clubs was wide. The clubs that had been recognized as exemplary and hence certified by the Young Finland Association were more likely to recognize health promotion than non-certified clubs (OR = 2.36, p = 0.016). The sports club officials were twice as likely to evaluate their clubs as higher health promoting than the coaches (OR = 2.04, p = 0.041). Under the sub-indices, ideologies were recognized best, others less. These findings indicate that minority of the youth sports clubs have realized health promotion comprehensively as a part of their activities. There is a lot of need for development, especially in the area of health promotion policies and practices. The instruments used proved valid and reliable and can therefore be recommended for international use.

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