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Sports participation during a lockdown. How COVID-19 changed the sports frequency and motivation of participants in club, event, and online sports

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis and its related measures on how people practice and experience leisure continues to be significant. In the current study, a survey measuring sport participation during the third week of the first lockdown, that started on the 18th of March 2020 and has been gradually loosened as of the 18th of April 2020, was carried out among 13,515 Flemish citizens. Through a canonical correlation analysis, four clusters of COVID-19-sports-participants are distinguished, i.e. people who experience restrictions when it comes to (i) time and sports infrastructure, (ii) closed sports clubs and cancelled event activities, (iii) time and fear/sickness, and (iv) those who experience no impact. Logistic regression results indicate that participants with online sports experience have a (more) positive effect on their sports participation behaviour, while less missing and having to adapt their previous sports behaviour. The opposite is found for sports club members, while former sports event participation has a positive effect on sports frequency, but a negative effect on their motivation. The results of both analyses give insight into the role that different policy instruments (i.e. sports clubs, events, type of sports) play in keeping different clusters of sports participants motivated to stay sports-active.

Journal: Leisure studies
ISSN: 0261-4367
Issue: 4
Volume: 41
Pages: 457-470
Publication year:2022
Keywords:canonical correlation analysis, COVID-19, lockdown, logistic regression, Sports participation, typology