Sports Development: The Pyramid Model Of Sport Development

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Register to read the introduction… Sports development is something that is hard to conceptualize within the UK, as generalized beliefs in what it is differs as to what it’s primary function serves to be. One such model which serves to try to highlight what sports development is the pyramid model. As cited by Houlihan( REF) the model has four levels being foundation, participation at a local or regular level; the next level progresses into higher performance levels with more opportunities with coaching and finally excellence with the emphasis on elite performance. This model is something which in principal works as athletes progress from one level to the next. However as Houlihan argues the model “assumes that every participant in sport wishes to move through the system until they reach their desired level” yet the model fails to acknowledge that people might not make the transition into the next level making the model redundant, yet in principal it still highlights a way that sport can achieve elitism. This is advocated by Green who argues we need “to create a deep pool of athletes from which a corps of elite athletes can develop” (Green. C 2005: p234) I agree with Green in that the development of athletes does stem from a broad rate of participation and as such the model does serve to provide platform from which we can go from. Yet if the aim is to develop sports athlete’s into elite athletes then this model doesn’t provide the best framework as the emphasis is not on elitism but more on a ‘sport for all’ setting. Hence my opinion would be to develop the model into something which improved better athletes; by this I mean I would cut the foundation level and start from athlete’s who already participate in sport, this way a higher level of support can be given to potential elite athletes. This is something also argued by Abbott and …show more content…
Sport development as an entity is very self conflicting as its core strategy’s are both to promote ‘sport for all’ and produce medals on a national stage. As such a lot of tension exists between the two as to which deserves more time and money. Having analyzed not only sporting development models but looked at the governing bodies proposals and schemes that are in place I would be more inclined to say that mass participation deserves more funding. This is because I feel that the through mass participation a lot more can be achieved. Firstly physical education in schools is something which receives a lot of money through schemes such as PESSCL which is aimed at mass participation; if you were to take away the funding given to these types of schemes you would see a drop off in the numbers of young people playing sport. This would impact on the potential numbers of elite athletes which indirectly suggests that mass participation has greater bearing on the future of sport. However elite talent development is something that the Sports Council are particularly concerned with, as according to Pickup (1996) the structure of sport was hindering developments of elite athletes and sport had to be reformed; subsequently the national lottery was brought into to bring funding to elite sporting athletes. The government’s decision to make such a policy shows their commitments to elite sporting bodies by providing a framework from which elite sports could excel. However lottery funding also applies to those playing recreationally, as it shows that if participants fully commit to their sport then they will receive funding where necessary. Again the government can be seen to have got lost in the bureaucracy’s of sport not really being fully committal to mass or elite sport. As already stated

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