Foundation: Football is the most popular sport not only in Britain but worldwide. The amount of publicity and coverage in the press and on mainstream television makes the sport so popular throughout the country. The majority of children take part in the sport from a young age either in school or playing with their friends on their local playing field. School teachers may teach their pupils the basic knowledge of the game but they will not necessarily have an in-depth knowledge of the game. The facilities used at this level will only be basic such as a playground, playing field or possibly a football pitch. Football is a popular sport for schools to participate in because it is relatively cheap and there is lots of interest in the sport. Footballs are very cheap to purchase and access to a playing field is relatively accessible.
Participation: At this level of the sports development continuum young people may start to realise they could pursue a career in the sport. It is the period when a young player may start to shine above their peers in terms of footballing ability. Football facilities at this level are still relatively basic. Many young people may also play for local teams in local leagues set up by volunteers. Because of this the level of coaching is very low and basic. This is where they could be scouted by professional clubs and be selected to further develop their skills in a footballing academy. St Georges park is one such academy that is strictly used to develop English players to aid the development of the International squad. Performance: Now, players are looking to improve and develop their skills further all the time.
These players are seriously perusing a career in the sport but have still got a long way to go before they make it. Players at this level of the continuum are either playing at a semi-professional club or are on the books of a professional team but are still aiming to prove their worth to that club. The level of facilities and coaching is now at a very high level. Players at this level are performing here because their talent and ability is above that of their peers in previous levels of the continuum.
Excellence: This level in the continuum is for players performing at the highest level and will make a healthy living from the sport. One example of a player at this level is Wayne Rooney. He players professionally for Manchester United and is also a regular starter for England at international level. Players at this level will train with the best coaches and with top facilities. The FA (Football Association) will pump a lot of money into the sport to develop the International team.
Foundation: Swimming is a popular sport throughout the country. It gets relatively good television coverage and has been made popular by the gold medals won by Rebecca Adlington at the Olympics. Many primary schools throughout the country have swimming pools so pupils can have regular swimming lessons. If not, the majority of schools will have swimming programmes for their pupils that can be conducted at their local swimming centre. Teachers will know be skilled in the technique of swimming so this level of teaching is a basic introduction to the sport. Most towns and cities will have leisure centres so access to swimming pools is readily available to young people in the country.
Participation: Young people may have developed a talent and ability in the sport and may be part of local swimming clubs where they can further develop their ability and start to compete. Young people may stand out in terms of talent over their peers. The level of coaching will significantly improve at this level from that of coaching in schools. Here a swimming coach will have further in depth knowledge of the sport and be more inclined to further develop the skills of children participating in the sport. The level of facilities will be much the same of foundation level.
Performance: Ability, potential and performances are now indicating that these swimmers have a serious chance of competing within the sport at a high level. They will be good contenders to perform for their country at a competitive level. That is what these athletes will be aiming for. The level of facilities is now at a very high standard and the coaches will be professionally trained. Many will be retired professional swimmers. The level of competition at this level of the sports development continuum is very high and training is intense.
Excellence: athletes at this level have been dedicated to the sport for many years and have received the best in terms of coaching and facilities to develop their talent and help them reach their potential. They are now competing at the elite levels of the sport and representing their country at international level. Swimmers in this category will aim to compete at the next Olympics.
Foundation: Rugby is a popular sport throughout Britain. It is regularly televised making it a popular choice of sport for children. Rugby is taught in many primary schools through the country but the level of knowledge about the sport by teachers is not incredibly in depth so for many children it is just an introduction to the sport. Along with football it is an ideal sport for schools to teach their pupils as it is cheap and easily accessible. The facilities used at this level are very basic.
Participation: Young people may now start to play for local youth teams set up by volunteers who may have a child participating in the sport. With these volunteers many local clubs would not exist. The level of coaching may slightly improve at this level but it is still not at a great standard. The sport has become more competitive as the players are playing for local clubs through choice. It is no longer a compulsory activity at school. A young players ability may start to climb at a higher rate than his/her peers. This could be noticed by a local scout who is recruiting for a professional club. It is these players who will go on to further develop their skills in professional coaching academies.
Performance: Players performing at this level are now looking to seriously pursue a career in the sport. They are being coached by professional clubs in youth academies. The level of coaching is at a very high level. They will be coached by coaches that have specifically refined their skills to aid the development of young players. Facilities will be of a very high standard with training being a permanent fixture in their diaries. The level of competition at this level is extremely high with every player striving to compete for a professional club.
Excellence: These players are competing at the highest level for professional clubs. They have fully reached their potential. The level of coaching is of the highest standard and facilities are top class. Players competing at this level are striving to compete for their national team so competition is still extremely fierce.