chapter  15
14 Pages

The Swedish model for sport, recreation and health in times of change – a sustainable contract with the family of sport?

BySuzanne Lundvall, Dean Barker

This chapter examines how tensions around young people's recreational choices are played out in contexts shaped by discourses of health, physical activity and sport in a family context. To understand the delegate's reactions to the sports minister's speech, a short background of the Swedish model for organized sport and the Swedish society is needed. The Nordic model for the organizing of sports is partially due to a historically and culturally embedded public notion that participating in sport builds character, develops social skills, improves health and keeps young people straight, and off the streets. The Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) defines itself as a democratic movement; the Swedish sports movement is part of cultural heritage and an important aspect of national identity. According to the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, former institutionalized and organized leisure time activities, often in interplay with associations, institutions and families, have lost their capacity to control time spent outside of school.