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Physical education and sport also build health activity habits that encourage life-long participation in physical activity. This extends the impact of physical education beyond the schoolyard and highlights the potential impact of physical education on public health.
To achieve broader goals in education and development, sports programmes must focus on the development of the individual and not only on the development of technical sports skills.
While the physical benefits of participation in sport are well known and supported by large volumes of empirical evidence, sport and physical activity can also have positive benefits on education.
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Sport is an attractive activity for young people, and is often used as a draw card to recruit children and young people to health and education programmes. Sport and development projects that focus on educational outcomes use sport as a means to deliver educational messages to participants, and spectators in some cases.
Additionally, some programmes aim to promote and develop other aspects of education such as school attendance and leadership. Sport does not inherently provide positive educational outcomes. Much of the literature emphasises the crucial role of physical education teachers and other providers of physical activity and sport as determinants of educational experiences.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for example, are using sport and play programmes to encourage young people, particularly girls and young women, to attend school within refugee camps across the world. In addition, UNICEF has a strong focus on using sport to campaign for girls’ education, promoting education through events and awareness campaigns.