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Leisure theorists have made specific distinctions between play, recreation and sport. Describe this differentiation and illustrate your answer with specific examples.

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Introduction

Leisure theorists have made specific distinctions between play, recreation and sport. Describe this differentiation and illustrate your answer with specific examples. 'One of the chief problems of defining leisure is that it is very difficult to take an objective approach to the subject.' (Parker, 1983, p3) 'The word leisure is rarely used without invoking other words and concepts, the most frequent being 'sport', 'art', 'entertainment', 'recreation' and 'play'.' (Torkildsen, 2001, p5) Generally 'leisure is the opportunity and the time outside working hours to choose and take part in activities or experiences which are expected to be personally satisfying' (Advanced Leisure and Tourism, 1998, p5) This essay addresses three leisure aspects; play, recreation and sport, their characteristics and their differentiations. 'Play begins at birth and continues until we die. For adults its perhaps more comfortable to call it sport or recreation, art or leisure, but at some level and some degree, we all play' (Bonel, 1993 cited in Torkildsen, 2001) 'Through play, children develop their physical, intellectual, emotional and social ability' (Torkildsen, 2001, p13) The roots of play reach far back into ancient times into the classical era of ancient Greece - although child labour was common the children still held an important place in classical society and were allowed to play. ...read more.

Middle

The word recreation can suggest many ideas, recreation as a leisure activity promoting recuperation, relaxation, pleasure and satisfaction - but these descriptives do not reveal its nature. Recreational activities are generally voluntarily chosen by the participant (Kraus, 1978 cited in Torkildsen, 2001) these activities are far greatly diverse than those of competitive sport and non-competitive fitness activities. To many people recreation is synomous with sport but recreational activities do not have to be physical; as described by the Recreation Management Training Committee in 1978 (cited in Torkildsen, 2001) 'we take recreation to mean any life enhancing experience which is the outcome of freely chosen activity' Torkildsen (2001) mentions that there are two ways of perceiving recreation, activity focus that are the activities we call recreation; seen as an activity related to sports, games, art and other leisure time pursuits. And experience focus which is the experience we enjoy from actively or passively taking part; this is process orientated concerned with well-being and self-fulfilment. Kraus (1971 cited in Torkildsen, 2001) 'refers to all the social institutions which have been formed to meet the leisure needs of people' these include activities and organisations sponsored be the government, schools, churches, industries, voluntary agencies and the business world; all of these provide varied recreational opportunities which can be activity or experience focused. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Roberts, 1999) Psychologically A sport can be presented as a form of activity which emphasizes human similarity and not dissimilarity, a form of activity which expresses values which are indeed immeasurable, a form of activity which is concerned with individual well-being and satisfaction rather than with comparison. (Willis, 1982 cited in Critchner et Al, 2001) Sport has four main components, (1) elements of competition, (2) Physical activity, (3) aspects of organisation and (4) the influence of outcome on quality of experience. (Elvin, 1992) The set of object relating to a specific sport situation may be quite diverse, ranging from the elements of social and physical environments of a football game to those associated with two sports fans in a bar arguing the pros and cons of the manager of their local football team. (Loy Jr, 2002 cited in Holowchak, 2002 Ed.) Sport can also be segregated into two different types, performance which requires judges i.e. gymnastics and diving and non-performance which requires law enforcement officers (referees) ie football and hockey. 'Participation in play, sport and recreation has a significance for individuals and/or groups and the social context for this should be understood.' (Elvin, 1992, p11) 'Many physical activities seem to be able to lend themselves to both sets of parameters' (Elvin, 1992, p5) (sport and recreation) and where play is concerned, adults seem to be more restrained by society as to what are acceptable behaviours. ...read more.

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