A Study of the Determinants of Sports Participation by Maltese Nationals
Currently, there have been various concerns relating to the amount of sports and physical exercise practiced by people in the European Union. Evidence collected by WHO and Eurostate show Malta as having the highest rates of obesity in the European Union. These results are worrying when one considers the consequences of such a condition, ranging from cardiovascular diseases such as angina, stroke and heart attacks to cancer.In this study, we use the economic, neo-classical and heterodox theories to explore sports participation, specifically of Maltese people in handball, badminton and wrestling. We targeted the whole population (n = 565) of registered and active sports participants within the three sport activities during the competitive season 2015-2016. We considered demographic characteristics, economic factors including education, employment and recreational activities, lifestyle factors as well as psychological and sociological factors.Our findings show dependency between gender and sports, the ratio of male to female participating in wrestling is significantly different from that of handball and badminton, dependency between age and sports and wrestling attracts a more mature participant.Given that income is not an issue effecting sports participation, there is a need to be more targeted public policies aimed at encouraging the uptake of sports within Malta as well as an investment by Government to promote sports participation.