2021 Volume 66 Pages 63-75
In Japan, some elementary schools have an environment for extracurricular sports activities. However, due to the declining population and burdens on teachers, this arrangement has been difficult to sustain. As a result, some regions have transitioned from school-based extracurricular sports activities to community-based sports activities, and this trend is expected to eventually affect all regions. However, little has been clarified about the effect of regional transition of school-based extracurricular sports activities. The present study examined teachers’ recognition of changes associated with the transition of elementary school-based extracurricular sports activities to community-based junior sports clubs. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 participants who had experienced regional transition as teachers. The interview topics included were: past sports implementation, pre-transition coaching status, coaching experience/thoughts/philosophy, present sports implementation status of children, and changes associated with regional transition. All interviews were transcribed verbatim. For qualitative analysis, the KJ method was used to conduct card making, grouping, type A modeling, and type B writing. As a result, 63 small categories were extracted and 5 large categories were created. These categories were as follows: 1) activity, 2) coaching and management, 3) teachers, 4) children, and 5) parents, each including both positive and negative changes. The “teachers” category was further classified into 4 subcategories: burden, educational opportunity, relationship with children, and relationship with parents. The relational model has shown that intense activity caused fatigue and lifestyle deterioration in children. Additionally, increasing the burden on parents resulted in a decrease of sports participation by children and a decrease of educational opportunities resulted in an increase of problems associated with pupil guidance and teacher burden. It is evident that teachers have recognized various changes related to activity, coaching and management, and also teachers, children and parents, and their inter-relationships. In particular, perceived negative changes due to regional transitions should be rectified. Simply transitioning school-based extracurricular sports activities to communitybased junior sports clubs will not be enough to resolve certain problems. It is important to follow management rules and allow cooperation among teachers, parents, and coaches to balance the sustainability of the sports environments available for children and their educational value. As the present case study targeted one region and evaluated only the perceptions of teachers, the suggestions offered are purely from a teacher’s viewpoint and restricted to full transitioning from elementary school-based extracurricular sports activities to community-based junior sports clubs.