Sport among minors and the gaps in the supply of sports equipment

In Italy they are around 6 out of 10 children play sports in their free time, continuously or at least occasionally. A very variable share on the national territory.

I am at least 7 out of 10 in regions like Aosta Valley (80.3%), the autonomous provinces of Bolzano (74.2%)e Thirty (70.2%), the Friuli Venezia Giulia (71.1%), the Lombardy (70.2%). While the the least sporty regions for children and young people are all in the south.


THE SOURCE: development of openpolis – With children on Istat data for the CRC group
(last update: Thursday, December 2, 2021)

All the territories that do not reach the national average are in fact located in southern Italy. Specifically Campania, Sicily And Basilicata, which do not reach the 50% share. Just above this threshold Puglia And Calabriawith 50.8% and 51.5% respectively.

41.4% children and young people from 3 to 17 years old who play sports in their free time in Campania. Almost half of the Aosta Valley.

The availability of sports facilities is a key factor in opposing a sedentary lifestyle.

It's a a gap that calls into question many aspects: from the economic condition of families to health education, up tooffer of places to practice sports in the area.

It is interesting to observe how in many cases, the territories where many children do not practice sports coincide with those with fewer sports facilities. A tendency to analyze with great caution: the lack of places to do activities is in fact only one of the many reasons why sport is not practiced in childhood. Among these, for example, the lack of time or interest or the financial resources of the family.

11.8% of 11-14 year olds who do not practice sport indicate the lack of infrastructure as one of the reasons.

However, it is interesting to observe how, region by region, the sedentary lifestyle of minors and the provision of sports facilities on the territory, starting with school gymnasiums. The regions with the lowest proportion of children who play sports at least occasionally in some cases are also those with the fewest schools with attached gymnasiums.


THE SOURCE: elaboration of openpolis - With children on the data of the groups Miur, Istat and Crc
(last update: Thursday, December 2, 2021)

School gymnasiums can also be upgraded as sports facilities in the area.

For example, the Campania - last for the proportion of children and young people who practice a sport at least occasionally - it is also the second region with the fewest school gymnasiums, after the Calabria (on the fifth turn for the share of children who do activities). Likewise, there are fewer school gymnasiums than average Sicilypenultimate region of sports practice among minors. Basilicata And Puglia - respectively penultimate and penultimate for sports practice - have on the contrary a share of schools with gymnasium which tends to be in the national average.

26.1% school buildings with adjoining gym or swimming pool in Campania. Only in Calabria are they less numerous (20.5%).

In addition, the cities of the south are also characterized by a fewer outdoor sports spaces. We are talking about outdoor spaces used as sports and multipurpose fields, swimming pools, green classrooms, which can be used for fun, sports and recreational activities.


THE SOURCE: elaboration of openpolis - With children on Istat data
(last update: Monday, December 20, 2021)

In 2020, against a national average of 8.7 square meters of sports spaces for minors in Italian capitals, cities in the northeast reach the highest figure: 20.4 square meters per inhabitant under the age of 18. Next come those of central Italy (7.3) and north-west (6.5). Attested on approximately 5 square meters of outdoor sports space for small southern towns: 5.3 on average in the islands, 4.9 in the continental south.

85% southern capitals has less than 10 square meters of outdoor sports spaces for minors.

If we consider Campania, a region where sports practice among minors is less frequent, we observe that of the 5 provincial capitals only Benevento exceed the national average. In addition to a very large extent: 38 square meters per child, since it places the city at the forefront of the capitals of the continental south.



The map shows the percentage of public school buildings equipped with a school gymnasium or swimming pool compared to the total number of school buildings in the territory of each Italian municipality (data for 2018).

The points, on the other hand, correspond to the square meters per miner of the areas classified as outdoor sports areas in the capitals of Campania. These last data are not reported in the datasets relating to the municipality of Salerno (data relating to 2020).

THE SOURCE: elaboration of openpolis - With children on Miur and Istat data
(last update: Thursday, May 30, 2019)

38.05 square meters of sports spaces for minors in Benevento in 2020.

In terms of school gymnasiumsamong the capitals in first place we find Avellino, where almost one school building in two (49.2%) has sports equipment. In second place Beneventowith 38.3%, followed by Salerno (29.6%), Caserta (27.87%) e Naples. In the regional capital, school buildings equipped with a gymnasium or a swimming pool are around 1 in 5 (20.6%).

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Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli VG, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Trentino-Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto, Total capitals.

The contents of the Educational Poverty Observatory #conibambini are created by openpolis with the social enterprise Con i Bambini within the framework of the Fund to combat juvenile educational poverty. We provide the data used in the article in an open format. We have collected and processed them so that we can analyze them against other datasets from public sources, with the aim of creating a unique territorial database of services. They can be freely reused for analyses, research initiatives data journalism or even for a simple consultation. Data on urban green spaces and outdoor sports areas come from Istat.

Photo: Unsplash Pelayo Arbués - License

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