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Ross D. Neville, Fergal Lyons, Brendan Doyle, and Kimberley D. Lakes

This study compared fundamental movement skills (FMS) in children from schools on the lower and upper levels of socioeconomic status. Data were collected from 228 schoolchildren across five schools in Ireland. There were 147 children from schools of social disadvantage (Mage  = 7.67 [SD = 0.62] years; 55% boys) and 81 children from schools considered in the normal range for socioeconomic development (Mage  = 7.34 [SD = 0.26] years; 56% boys). FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–2. Mixed models were used to estimate differences in FMS, while controlling for the nested structure of the data and for sex, age, body mass index, and class size. There was a substantial sex×school interaction, with girls from schools of social disadvantage exhibiting greater object-control skills proficiency than their counterparts in schools on the upper tertiles of socioeconomic development (standardized effect size = 0.66 [±95% confidence limits, ±0.50]; p = .02). The suggestion that children from social disadvantage are delayed in FMS is unsupported in this cohort. Differences in the structure of physical education and types of sports undertaken by children in schools of social disadvantage in Ireland are considered as explanations for this departure from previous studies.

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Ross D. Neville, Catherine Gorman, Sheila Flanagan, and Frédéric Dimanche

By shifting our attention toward everyday life, its manifold commitments and responsibilities, this paper examines the potential for “fitness” to take on an extended meaning beyond consumption activity. In the opening sections, Robert Nozick’s (1974) “Experience Machine” thought experiment is presented as an alternative analytic frame for interpreting the problem of fitness in terms of a tension between mere activity and experience. In relation to this tension, the paper presents findings from a study of experienced participants and emphasizes the possibilities of a virtuous production through fitness. In particular, we emphasize that there is much work to be done in sedimenting (and maintaining) an appropriate frame of reference for “doing fitness” and that “being someone through fitness” might operate as an indexical marker of virtue.

En dirigeant notre attention vers la vie de tous les jours et ses multiples engagements et responsabilités, nous examinons dans cet article le potentiel du « fitness » d’avoir une signification étendue au-delà de l’activité de consommation. Dans les premières sections, l’expérience de pensée de la « machine à expérience » de Robert Nozick (1974) est présentée comme un cadre analytique alternatif pour l’interprétation du problème de la condition physique en termes de tension entre simple activité et expérience. En lien avec cette tension, cet article présente les résultats d’une étude de participants expérimentés et met l’accent sur les possibilités d’une production vertueuse par l’intermédiaire de la condition physique. En particulier, nous soulignons qu’il y a beaucoup de travail à faire dans la sédimentation (et le maintien) d’un cadre de référence approprié pour « faire de l’activité physique » et qu’« être quelqu’un par l’intermédiaire de la condition physique » peut agir comme indicateur de vertu.

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Amy K. Bermingham, Ross D. Neville, and Kyriaki Makopoulou

This study investigated perceptions about the effectiveness of a student-led sports event. Participants from a student-led tag rugby league were surveyed about its perceived effectiveness. The sample consisted of 227 participants, most of whom were undergraduates (91%) across a wide variety of academic programs. The effectiveness of the league was assessed by comparing the perceptions of participants with previous tag rugby experience with participants who had no previous tag rugby experience. Participants enjoyed participating in and reported above-average levels of commitment to the league. However, there was a difference in perceptions about the effectiveness of the league between men and women. Men with previous tag rugby experience had significantly lower perceptions about the effectiveness of the league than their counterparts with no previous experience. Post hoc analysis revealed the importance of rules and officiating protocols to men. The findings not only speak to the viability of student-led sports events but also to the utility of obtaining direct feedback from event participants themselves, which is a critical aspect of rounding out the post hoc event evaluation process. Results indicate that university course instructors should pay particular attention to knowledge of rules and officiating protocols before selecting students to deliver a league.