sport in nfe

Education through sports (ETS) is a concept that brings together personal development and physical activities. It is a strong pedagogical approach and learning method. What makes it unique and interesting for youth is the fact that gaining knowledge and skills takes place while practicing enjoyable and inclusive activities.

By the most comprehensive definition, ETS is a non-formal educational approach that works with sport and physical activities and which refers to the development of key competences of individuals and groups in order to contribute to personal development and sustainable social transformation.

It is important to make a distinction between Education For, By and Through sport. Of course, all these concepts have physical activity at its core but their objectives differ. Education for sport aims at developing competences for improvement of physical performances in the context of competitive sport. It focuses on winning. On the other hand, Education by sport is a bit deeper concept which relies on sport for promoting health and well-being of the society. Last, but not the least, is the Education through sport which, again, offers more holistic perspective than the other two. In this regard, sport is to be considered as tools for personal improvement which eventually evokes social transformation as well.

This approach of connecting sport and NFE has already been introduced by practitioners all over the globe. Some of the most prominent benefits of sport and physical activity have been mentioned before, but in the context of youth soft skills development it is important to understand their intercorrelation with the expected outcomes of NFE. The table below points out the core competences which could be positively influenced though introduction of sport as a learning method.

Therefore, when designing your program of activities in youth work, the first step should be to determine which competence category you want to target. Based on that consider the size of the group you are working with and decide whether individual or group sports are more suitable. It is important to enable the participation principle in this phase and to make sure all the participants are able to take part.