Catherine Woods, Cormac Powell, Jean A Saunders, Wesley O'Brien, Marie H Murphy, Christina Duff, Orlagh Farmer, Anne Johnston, Sinead Connolly, Sarahjane Belton, Sarahjane Belton

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The Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study 2018 (CSPPA 2018) was a
follow up to CSPPA 2010 looking at participation in sport, physical activity and Physical
Education among children aged 10 to 18 on the island of Ireland. CSPPA 2018 was the
first study to look at these issues in an all-island context. It was a multi-centre study,
undertaken by the University of Limerick, Dublin City University, University College
Cork and Ulster University. It was funded by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland and Sport
Northern Ireland.
The importance of sport, physical activity and Physical Education is reflected by various
public policies and strategies related to these domains which have been developed in
the North and South. In the Republic of Ireland (ROI), these include the National Physical
Activity Plan, the National Sports Policy, and numerous recent changes to the Physical
Education curriculum e.g. the introduction of the Junior Cycle Wellbeing Curriculum, and
the Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE) as an examinable subject. In Northern
Ireland, examples include A Fitter Future for All: Outcome Framework 2015-2019, the
Healthy Child, Healthy Future: A Framework for the Universal Child Health Promotion
Programme in Northern Ireland, and Changing Gear: A Bicycle Strategy for Northern
The aims of CSPPA 2018 were to:
• Comprehensively assess the participation levels of Irish and Northern Irish children in
sport, physical activity and Physical Education.
• Provide quality data on current physical activity levels of children.
• Determine factors that enhance or inhibit participation levels of children in sport,
physical activity and Physical Education.
• Explore the relationships between regular participation in physical activity and health
for children.
• Provide a comparison, where possible, between CSPPA 2010 and CSPPA 2018.
• Provide policy insight on physical activity initiatives aimed at children.
CSPPA used a cross-sectional research design involving similar methods to those used in
2010, with some important changes:
• Questionnaires were completed using tablet / laptop technology rather than on paper.
• Disability status was assessed using the Child Functioning Module questionnaire.
• Family socioeconomic status was assessed using the Family Affluence Scale II, which
stratifies individuals into low, medium or high family affluence.
For the Republic of Ireland, the 114 schools which participated in 2010 and were eligible
were invited to participate. 74 of these agreed to take part, with 12 new schools being
included for a total of 86 schools. This allowed 4,697 primary and post primary students
to provide input. In Northern Ireland 29 schools and 1,954 primary and post primary
students were involved. In total, 6,651 children aged 10 – 18 took part in the study. In
addition, a small number of school administrators were interviewed about participation
in sport in schools, school facilities and resources available for sport.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDublin, Ireland
PublisherSport Ireland
Commissioning bodySport Ireland
Number of pages106
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Sept 2019


  • Children's sport
  • Physical education
  • physical activity
  • Active Travel
  • Sedentary Behaviour
  • Surveillance
  • community sport
  • school sport


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