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Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education Teachers’ Professional Development in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Survey Analysis

Thomas M. Leeder
1,* and
Lee C. Beaumont
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 642;
Submission received: 20 September 2021 / Revised: 4 October 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education)


Lifestyle sports can contribute to national sport and physical activity agendas. However, schools in the United Kingdom (UK) have generally resisted the implementation of such activities within the physical education (PE) curriculum. This may stem from PE teachers’ limited knowledge and restricted engagement with lifestyle sports continuing professional development (CPD), coupled with the dominance of traditional team sports within the PE curriculum. Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. Data were collected via an online qualitative survey involving 53 UK-based PE teachers. Following a reflexive thematic analysis process, three themes were developed: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers. Findings indicated that the participants possessed diverse conceptualisations of lifestyle sports, while faced with logistical, contextual, and personal factors which impacted their practice. Furthermore, the participants outlined their preferences towards lifestyle sports CPD and the challenges restricting their engagement with learning opportunities. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

1. Introduction

1.1. Lifestyle Sports

The phrase ‘lifestyle sports’ describes a range of new and established sports and activities that were (re)developed out of the counter-culture of the 1960s, particularly the Californian surfing scene [1,2]. These activities are considered different to traditional Western mainstream achievement sports in that they are usually participated in individually (or at least in small groups), with a focus on enjoyment and the pursuit of technical competence or skill [2,3,4,5]. Those who engage in lifestyle sports typically adopt a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ethos, an ideology of ‘grassroots’ participation, are exposed to greater risks and trills, and perform in non-competitive and non-aggressive environments [2,5]. Lifestyle choices, such as fashion, style, and aesthetics, are seen as equally important to lifestyle sport enthusiasts as physical ability and competence [5]. Over the last 30 years, lifestyle sport participation has moved beyond its initial developments in North America, Australia, and Western Europe at such an increased rate that it is now considered a truly global phenomenon and one of the most important ‘mega trends’ of the twenty-first century [6,7,8,9,10]. Examples of such sports and activities include the following: skateboarding, surfing, parkour, snowboarding, BASE jumping, and freestyle BMX (see Tomlinson et al. [11] for a comprehensive overview of different ‘types’ of lifestyle sports).
Historically, lifestyle sports have been described in the sport sociology literature using a variety of terms, notably action, adventure, risk, extreme, arriving, and whizz [4,12,13,14,15,16,17]. Further to this, within the physical education (PE) literature, the term lifestyle sports has been extended beyond the action and adventurous sports and activities listed above to also include recreation-based activities that are taught in PE lessons. These activities and sports are typically non-competitive (or at least less competitive compared to traditional team sports), usually have a health and fitness focus, and relate to a ‘style of participation’ as opposed to a ‘style of life’ [18,19]. Examples of such activities include yoga, aerobics, Boxercise, Zumba, and non-competitive forms of cycling, swimming, walking, and running. Confusingly, within the PE context, these activities are sometimes described as alternative or informal sports or indeed lifestyle ‘activities’ [9,19,20]. While we accept that the phrase lifestyle sports is not without its critics, especially within the sport coaching literature [21], for the purpose of this paper, the all-encompassing term lifestyle sports will be used that includes both elements of the ‘conceptual continuum’ [19]. That is, those action and adventure sports and activities identified in the sport sociology literature where participants engage individually (typically), focus on their technical competence and enjoyment, do not compete against others, seek out thrills and risks, adopt a DIY ethos and a ‘style of life’, and those recreation-based sports and activities identified in the PE literature which are predominantly health and fitness orientated, and relate to a ‘style of participation’ [19,22].
Lifestyle sports have become a major feature on the landscape of many sport and physical activity development policies at national, regional, and local levels [8,23,24]. Further to this, they have the potential to contribute towards government sport and physical activity agendas [8,11], especially as children and young people’s physical activity levels have been reported as declining during adolescence and after leaving school [25,26]. It would seem then that the promotion of lifestyle sport within schools could be a suitable place to address, or at least alleviate, some of these issues [22]. However, despite the immense global growth in participation and the potential contribution towards national sport and physical activity agendas, schools and PE have been somewhat reluctant to embrace lifestyle sports [27,28]. PE teachers have been aware of this global phenomenon for some time, but do not appear to have deviated too far from the inclusion of traditional, mainstream, competitive team sports in their day-to-day practice [28,29]. This reluctance to engage with lifestyle sports in PE curriculums has led some authors to believe that the school subject is out of step with youth sporting culture [27,28,30,31,32].
Within the UK, lifestyle sports are not included within PE national curricula as activities which should be delivered; however, there is evidence in some regions that schools have started to incorporate lifestyle sports into their provision, but these are on a relatively small scale [33,34,35]. The kinds of lifestyle sports usually incorporated into such curriculums are those that are easily resourced, are regulated, and where schools have or can house the necessary facilities; examples include ultimate frisbee, unicycling, parkour, street surfing and skateboarding [8,36,37,38]. The potential for lifestyle sports to be promoted and implemented into PE is largely an uncharted area and one that requires further research [39,40,41,42]. This is especially the case as many lifestyle sports become more professionalised and have greater exposure globally through mega-events such as the Olympic Games [43,44] and consequently, they are likely to become prevalent in PE curricula [45].

1.2. Continuing Professional Development for PE Teachers

For PE teachers, the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) cannot be overstated and is a key factor behind improved teaching practice and ultimately meaningful student learning [46]. PE-CPD incorporates a wide variety of specialised training, formal or informal education, and advanced professional learning, each intended to support teachers to improve their professional knowledge, competence, skills, and delivery of high-quality PE [47]. Despite this, there remains limited evidence towards what constitutes effective PE-CPD, with it being argued that “CPD is widely regarded as worthy, but finding a design/process that is optimally efficient and effective remains elusive” [48] (p. 800). Problematically, traditional PE-CPD has involved passive, one-off workshops, delivered off-site and imposed upon teachers [46,49]. Often, PE teachers are forced to attend CPD events due to administrative requirements, where the delivered content does not suit the needs or interests of those in attendance. Such an approach encourages PE teachers to adopt a ‘passive orientation’ towards CPD and their professional learning [50], resulting in teaching practices remaining stable and unchanged by new content and ideas.
Indeed, much PE-CPD is delivered off-site at other educational venues, such as a university, while being delivered by external professionals or generic PE and sport providers [49]. It has been suggested that PE teachers are sent off-site for short periods of time with the “naive hope that learning will ‘cascade’ to other teachers in the department” [51] (p. 108). However, PE teachers arrive back at their schools having attended CPD which overemphasises content breadth, rather than an in-depth exploration into curricular initiatives and ideas which PE teachers both desire and need [52]. Moreover, such CPD provision tends to divorce theory from practice while prioritising information giving activities, dedicating little time to activities such as critical reflection, discussion, and debates on practice [46,48]. To complicate matters further, PE teachers rarely have the resources (e.g., time, funding) to engage with sustained professional learning opportunities that have the potential to influence teaching practice and student learning [53].
Yet, it is not simply a case of providing more CPD opportunities for PE teachers [51], rather, there is a need to ensure that provision moves away from excessive delivery of content knowledge, and instead incorporates social interaction and reflective practice [49]. While designing effective CPD that meets the needs of all PE teachers is challenging [48,50], evidence suggests that several characteristics help to ensure that CPD is more impactful on PE teachers’ professional learning [46]. For example, PE-CPD should be on-going, relevant, recognises PE teachers as active learners, includes collaboration, enhances teacher’s pedagogical and content knowledge, and is facilitated with care [46]. Indeed, effective CPD might involve a mixture of both informal and formal learning experiences, contains elements of reflective practice, and incorporates collaborative activities between learners [54]. It is apparent that traditional and didactic forms of PE-CPD in the form of one-off workshops which are not sustained or collaborative, does little to acknowledge the dynamics of PE teacher learning and overlooks the importance of contextualised practice [48].
Consequently, while contemporary and innovative forms of PE-CPD such as professional learning communities (PLCs) and teacher learning walks have recently been identified as methods to overcome traditional criticisms [46,49], the focus of these learning opportunities is still dominated by pedagogical and content knowledge associated with mainstream team sports which form the majority of the UK’s PE curriculum. For example, it has been argued that areas such as health and lifelong physical activity tend to be absent from PE teachers’ CPD profiles [51,55]. However, the same can be said of lifestyle sports, despite their global growth and potential for several physical, mental, and social benefits for students [22]. Thus, PE teachers’ engagement with lifestyle sport CPD opportunities is low, with much provision and initial teacher education (ITE) programmes favouring an emphasis on mainstream team sports, resulting in an evident gap in PE teachers’ pedagogical and content knowledge.

1.3. Rationale, Aim and Research Questions

Lifestyle sports have the potential to offer PE curriculums in the UK a chance to divert away from a discourse of winning and overemphasis on competitive team sports, while helping to inspire and motivate the youth culture of today to lead healthy and active lives [22]. Competition and team sports are not inherently bad and are important elements of any PE curriculum, yet they dominate to the extent they form most activities and sports that are offered within schools. In contrast, lifestyle sports help to address this imbalance because they are typically performed individually and are non-competitive in nature. However, we know little about the ways in which PE teachers conceptualise and understand the umbrella term of lifestyle sports, with diverse interpretations likely to influence teaching practice. Furthermore, while traditional forms of PE-CPD are frequently critiqued [46,48], PE teachers currently have limited opportunities to engage with any lifestyle sport CPD provision which might exist, while the majority of ITE programmes are dominated with pedagogical and content knowledge related to mainstream team sports [55].
While increased research into lifestyle sports is more broadly required [56], we currently know very little about PE teachers’ understanding of lifestyle sports and their experiences of attending or engaging with lifestyle sports CPD. For example, little is still known about PE teachers’ preferences and perceptions towards their professional learning requirements [47,51,52]. Therefore, in exploring the factors which are impacting upon PE teachers’ engagement with lifestyle sport CPD and their perceived learning needs to embed theory into practice, it is hoped recommendations can be made to PE teachers, schools, and CPD providers, to help design more effective forms of CPD to enhance PE teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and confidence to embed lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum.
Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. To address this aim, four broad research questions were developed:
  • How do PE teachers conceptualise the term lifestyle sports?
  • What factors are influencing PE teachers’ ability to deliver lessons/sessions on lifestyle sports?
  • What are the professional development needs and preferences of PE teachers to enhance their understanding and delivery of lifestyle sports?
  • What factors are currently impacting upon PE teachers’ engagement with lifestyle sports professional development opportunities?

2. Methodology

2.1. Research Design

This research is positioned within the interpretivist paradigm and directly challenges “the idea of an observable, independent (singular and universal) reality, with humans understood as responding to external and internal influences” [57] (p. 7). More precisely, this research is underpinned by the paradigmatic assumptions of social constructionism, which explores how knowledge is known through the subjective and constructed experiences of others [58]. Therefore, a relativist ontology is emphasised which appreciates the existence of multiple realities developed through variable cultural contexts, alongside a subjectivist epistemology, where knowledge is co-constructed between the knower and the known [58,59].
The paradigmatic assumptions of social constructionism corresponds with the use of qualitative methods, which aim to understand “social phenomena and the ways in which people make sense and extract meaning from their experiences” [60] (p. 3). Qualitative research is used to uncover perspectives, meaning, and understanding, specifically when a particular problem or issue needs to be explored [58]. Qualitative research strives to uncover the meanings individuals (e.g., PE teachers) construct, in addition to understanding the context (e.g., schools) that impacts upon their dispositions, perspectives, and practice [59]. Therefore, to uncover the meanings and perspectives of UK-based PE teachers in relation to lifestyle sports and their professional development, a qualitative online survey was chosen as the designated research method.

2.2. Data Collection Method

A qualitative online survey was utilised to gather “nuanced, in-depth and sometimes new understandings of social issues” [61] (p. 1). Qualitative online surveys are generally the dominant mode of survey research [62], which are designed and delivered via online survey software, while focusing on participants’ responses to open-ended topic-based questions alongside a small number of closed, demographic questions [63]. The emergence of web-based survey capabilities has resulted in qualitative online surveys becoming an attractive and practical data collection method for researchers, primarily due to ease of use and accessibility, reduced demand on time and resources, access to geographically distributed populations, and high level of anonymity for participants [61,63,64].
While the logistical benefits of qualitative online surveys are evident, several participatory advantages exist, with participants afforded greater control, as they can manage the pace, time, and location of the survey completion [61,63]. Furthermore, qualitative online surveys have the potential to address sensitive topic areas, giving a voice to participants due to the unobtrusive nature and increased social comfort [61]. Qualitative online surveys offer the unique opportunity to collect a ‘wide-angle lens’ on a range of both broad and specific topic areas, helping to capture a diverse range of participants’ experiences, perceptions, and practices [61,63]. Consequently, in addressing the designated aim and research questions of this study, a qualitative online survey was considered an appropriate data collection method to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development preferences and needs.
A qualitative online survey was developed using Google Forms and structured via four sections. Before commencing the survey, a participant information page was provided which included information related to the aims and background of the research, participant confidentiality, intended outcomes of the research, and survey completion instructions. Having read this information, participants progressed to Section 1 which contained a series of statements where participants were required to tick a box and digitally sign to give their informed consent as a form of procedural ethics [65]. Participants were unable to access the rest of the survey if they did not provide their informed consent. Following the suggestions of Braun et al. [61], Section 2 included the first set of questions related to demographic information, which were considered the least threatening [63]. These involved a mixture of four open and closed questions regarding the participants’ age, gender, country of residence, and ethnicity. Section 3 focused on the participants’ teaching background, involving a combination of 10 open and closed questions to acquire information on participants’ qualifications, years of experience, institutions, and current teaching roles.
Section 4 included seven topic-based questions [61], geared specifically towards addressing the aim and designated research questions (see Table 1). Good qualitative survey questions are generally open, clear, and provide some form of instruction if explicit detail is required [61]. Due to the focus on lived experience and participants’ perceptions and experiences, we believe seven topic-based questions were an appropriate amount to provide depth and detail, while minimising participant disengagement and tedium [61]. Section 5 concluded the survey with a final question “Do you have any final comments/thoughts you would like to add which are related to lifestyle sports and your professional development as a physical education teacher more broadly?”, inviting participants to share any other thoughts they feel might be important.

2.3. Participants, Recruitment, and Sampling

Having obtained ethical approval from the lead author’s institution, participants were recruited via several methods. Primarily, the lead author shared a link to the Google Forms survey through social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Moreover, both authors disseminated the link to colleagues, organisations, and other potential participants via email. Indeed, as Braun et al. [61] (p. 9) suggest, “those actively engaged in online social media platforms and communities, comfortable with communicating online, will likely be similarly comfortable expressing themselves in an online survey”. Thus, sampling within this research was broadly purposive [57], as participants needed to be an active UK-based PE teacher working within either a primary or secondary school. An option within Section 3 of the survey enabled participants to disclose whether they held Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or not. Nonetheless, due to the survey being disseminated to a large audience, sampling involved both convenience-based (e.g., whoever completed the survey was recruited) and snowballing (e.g., participants may share the survey to individuals within their networks) strategies [57,66].
Sample size within qualitative survey research is not straightforward [61]; however, they tend to be larger than interview-based research, ranging anywhere between 20 and 100 responses. While bigger sample sizes do not always translate to better data [61], larger sample sizes may help compensate for shorter participant responses [63]. Nonetheless, sample size should generally be dictated by the aims and scope of the study, breadth of topic area, diversity of the populations, and nature of responses [61]. In total, 53 participants completed the online survey (see Table 2).

2.4. Data Analysis

Thematic analysis encompasses a form of qualitative data analysis which helps to identify patterns of meaning which exist across a dataset [67]. While thematic analysis is not tied to a specific theoretical framework or methodological approach, it offers the potential for “nuanced, complex, and interpretative analysis”, especially when used to understand people’s experiences of, and perspectives towards, social issues [67] (p. 191). Consequently, a reflexive approach to thematic analysis, which emphasises researcher subjectivity, was considered an appropriate analytical tool when interpreting participants’ responses to the online qualitative survey [68]. Reflexive thematic analysis follows an iterative six-stage process, where the researcher progresses back and forth through stages: namely, familiarisation; coding; generating initial themes; reviewing and developing themes; refining, defining, and naming themes; and writing up [69].
Initially, the lead author immersed themselves within the data through reading and re-reading all participant survey responses overtime to become familiar with the content and to achieve depth of engagement, by looking for tentative ideas and concepts which may help to address the project’s aim and research questions [67,68]. After immersion and familiarisation, the survey dataset was coded in an unstructured, subjective, and organic manner, where coding was considered a process of researcher interpretation, with both latent and semantic codes evolving and shifting over time as researcher understanding was developed [68]. Organised codes were then clustered together to form initial themes which represent patterns of meaning connected by a shared idea or concept, while highlighting something important and meaningful about the data [67]. Theme development continued with further refining, defining, and naming of themes to capture the core content and to represent the outputs of the data analysis process [68,69]. In total, three themes were generated: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers. These themes are presented within the results and discussion sections and are supported with data extracts and critical analytical commentary [67].

3. Results

Following the reflexive thematic analysis process, three themes were developed to address the designated research aim and research questions: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers.

3.1. PE Teachers’ Understanding, Conceptualisation, and Delivery of Lifestyle Sports

Lifestyle sports can be defined within PE settings as any conventional and regulated sports and activities, which extends beyond action and adventure sports, to include recreation-based activities that are taught in PE lessons. Within this research, the participants defined lifestyle sports in several ways, highlighting the lack of conceptual clarity associated with the term.
Fitness, gym, movement, gymnastics, dance, anything not constrained by rules.
Sports which are accessible and enjoyable for all people, regardless of their age or ability/disability.
This term is new to me. I would imagine it is a sport that you participate in without the need to join an official club and can do independently–such as surfing, paddleboarding, skateboarding etc.
Specifically, the participants often conflated lifestyle sports with the term ‘hobbies’ or alternatively conceptualised lifestyle sports as activities which encourage a healthy lifestyle, improved well-being, and lifelong sport participation.
Activities we teach on/off the curriculum which lead towards an active, healthy lifestyle and well-being.
Sports that can be easily continued outside of school. Typically, individual sports that aim to promote wellbeing and skill mastery over physical fitness (such as cycling or running).
Sports that occur on land, water, and in the air. Generally associated with ‘hobbies’.
Sports that you will participate in for life-sports that you enjoy as a hobby.
Despite a mixed understanding of lifestyle sports, some participants stated: ‘I don’t understand the term’ (P19) and ‘I wasn’t sure what they actually were’ (P21). However, there appeared to be an acknowledgment amongst the participants that lifestyle sports are activities not associated with traditional mainstream sports found within UK PE national curriculums:
Sports that are more likely to be continued after leaving education rather than traditional taught sports in the PE curriculum.
Never really heard the term but I’m assuming it may be an alternative to traditional sports.
Not traditional team games, inclusive forward-thinking sports e.g., parkour, skateboarding, scooting, fitness. Can be taken part in anywhere, not confined to a pitch or court.
Perhaps as expected, due to the participants’ diverse descriptions of what lifestyle sports entail, most participants stated that they possess little to no experience of delivering lifestyle sports across their teaching careers.
Nothing in PE lessons.
I have never delivered a lifestyle sport.
Minimal—generally an activity that would take place during a residential experience at an outdoor education centre (climbing/kayaking).
Nonetheless, some participants were able to recollect experiences of delivering lifestyle sports throughout their teaching careers.
Apart from some outdoor [and] adventurous activities and pool-based activities a few roller- skating sessions, very little.
We deliver ‘personal fitness’ where students follow their own plans based on learning. Also have yoga, Zumba, parkour, and next year have Flourish to monitor mental and physical health. We try to have activities such as quidditch, Bally ball etc. to teach concepts without a focus on ‘sport’.
Often, participants’ experiences of delivering lifestyle sports were generally restricted to orienteering and other outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA), which are either delivered on-site or during school residentials. Some of the potential reasons for this were explained.
Limited experience. Lead Duke of Edinburgh trips and training sessions to practice orienteering/map reading/tent building.
Limited to orienteering and team building for PE lessons due to lack of facilities, training, equipment, or access to appropriate water-based facilities. Have organised and run water-based activities for enrichment week and climbing as extra-curricular provision.
I have created schemes of work on OAA activities, which involve problem solving, making connections to the wider world and environment and orienteering. I have previously worked in an establishment where I would take students to lifestyle sport sessions. This worked well, however, students would often perform on their own or in pairs as students had social and behaviour issues, therefore, could not attend a mainstream school or learn in a busier environment. These students were fortunate to access the funding and resources to attend these activities.
In summary, the participants highlighted the problematic nature of the term lifestyle sports by offering a mix of diverse definitions and conceptualisations. While some participants have previously delivered lifestyle sports within their teaching, it would appear OAA (orienteering in particular) was the most accessible and frequently used, either being delivered on-site or during school residentials. However, in general participants were unable to provide clear examples of lifestyle sports being embedded within their school’s curriculum, which could potentially explain participants’ limited understanding of the term.

3.2. Challenges to Delivering Lifestyle Sports within the PE Curriculum

Participants emphasised the lack of conceptual clarity related to the term lifestyle sports, while demonstrating limited experience in delivering such provision. Participants’ limited experience in delivering lifestyle sports was attributed to several logistical issues, most notably factors such as a lack of time, funding, and access to resources and facilities.
In the area I live, I believe there are limited facilities to do these types of sports. The facilities we do have in the area are also costly, which limits our involvement in doing lifestyle sports.
Whilst many of my primary pupils try to do Parkour around the school premises the only sport we touch on is orienteering as we have a large field. Many of the sports listed require large specialist equipment and facilities which are not cost effective to have in school… also due to higher level of risk associated with some of these sports our school federation is reluctant to allow them to be accessed due to our duty of care for the pupils.
Resources and facilities as well as money would create big restrictions. Paddleboarding, canoeing, climbing, all these things are for school residentials. Children do these activities outside of school privately but not in school… a lot of the ‘lifestyle sports’ require specialist equipment/coaches which we don’t have. It comes down to cost and also safety, staff supervision etc.
While logistical factors restrict participants’ capacity to design and deliver lifestyle sports, the influence of a school’s ideology and culture was considered by some to be more significant. Specifically, if a school’s leadership team or PE Head of Department (HoD) did not value, understand, or see the relevance of lifestyle sports, participants’ ability to modify ‘traditional’ sport-based curriculums was severely hindered.
Key restrictions are the demands on the department for meeting GCSE specification which still focuses on more traditional activities.
In a mainstream environment, it is difficult to allocate time and funding to send students to the correct environment to perform these activities. Also, if the HoD ideology does not align with lifestyle sports its almost practically impossible to push these activities in schools. Some staff would rather deliver a closer to home cost-effective alternative such as OAA on the school field and use funds to continue pushing traditional sports such as football and netball.
I would love to implement them into my current practice; however, department/institution level would like to maintain a more traditional approach to PE.
Currently working in a school with a focus on traditional sports, football, rugby, and athletics for both male and female pupils. Current HoD will not consider a progressive approach to the curriculum.
In addition to both logistical and cultural issues which prevents curriculum reform, participants also identified their restricted knowledge of lifestyle sports as another factor impeding their teaching practice.
Greater education/knowledge on lifestyle sports and how best to deliver.
KnowledgeLack of confidence to tackle sport, creating a safe environment, Facilities, Equipment.
Yes—resources, funding, staffing expertise and the most important one is time. Purely down to the leadership tasks and paperwork I have to produce as HoD which are not relevant to the day-to-day job.
More pertinently, the notion of lifestyle sports was rarely discussed within initial teacher education (university or school-based), while participants also stated they had attended limited CPD focusing on lifestyle sports.
Little CPD as part of my PGCE ITT [Initial Teacher Training] which still had a predominant focus on traditional sport.
I have personally experienced no training days whereby lifestyle sports have been covered.
There has been very little focus on lifestyle sports.
During my training we done some CPD on delivering OAA, specifically looking at orienteering and how to incorporate that into the curriculum. Overall, I had little training on delivery of lifestyle sports.
I would say I have had no training content delivered to me on lifestyle sports.
The results suggest that the participants face several challenges which severely impacts their capacity to design and deliver lifestyle sports within their PE curriculum. While logistical issues such as time, finances, and access to resources and facilities are perhaps common problems all teachers face to some degree within their role, the influence of a school or department culture would appear a more pressing concern. Fundamentally, if a PE department’s culture prioritises the delivery of traditional sports, coupled with pressure from parents or school management, the participants stated there was little scope for lifestyle sport delivery. Furthermore, participants identified their lack of both knowledge and confidence to deliver lifestyle sports as an inherent challenge to their practice, potentially stemming from limited attendance and access to lifestyle sport CPD opportunities. This may also be due to the fact lifestyle sports are not included within UK PE national curriculums as activities which should be delivered by schools and are instead perceived as an ‘add on’ PE teachers might consider.

3.3. The Learning Needs and CPD Preferences of PE Teachers

Having identified limited knowledge and access to lifestyle sport CPD opportunities as challenges to their teaching practice, the participants were able to articulate their learning needs.
Need for up-to-date training and CPD in recent developments with most popular and new lifestyle sports activities. Resources used effectively by other PE Departments would be beneficial along with units of work and coach education resources.
Clear ID of where this fits into a school curriculum. Activity days with follow-up sessions or extracurricular could be most appropriate vehicle for this.
I have no prior knowledge or training in lifestyle sports, therefore, training days and gaining certificates to allow me to teach these sports will be required.
How this can be achieved on a greater platform for example providing opportunities for a class of 25 students rather than 3 students. What approach can be taken to encourage HoD to take a step in evolving these sports within schools? How can we motivatestudents to try these activities willingly?
I would like the opportunity to teach lifestyle sports and would welcome CPD and resources to be able to do this.
Consequently, participants conveyed the need to access resources and training to understand how to design lifestyle sport activities and successfully embed them within a traditional sport-based PE curriculum. To access further knowledge and resources, participants discussed their preferred method of CPD, with an overwhelming desire for online learning opportunities and in particular, the use of social media.
Sport-specific courses, webinars, online not time defined.
Practical workshops, online meetings, shared CPD and ideas via Twitter.
Pre Covid—Physical workshops. Zoom etc. would, however, save time and travel which are key.
Social media and fellow professionals at network meetings.
CPD workshops online have been really beneficial and almost better than face-to-face. Specific coaching courses can sometimes be elitist.
Indeed, social media was identified as a significant professional development mechanism which easily enables resources and ideas to be shared amongst practitioners.
Social media. Sharing practice where people can share their ideas.
Accessing training and sharing of resources via social media along with supporting webinars would be most suitable training.
CPD and sport-specific coaching courses are always the most useful. Social media content is also useful for sharing ideas and resources.
I feel quite strongly that we need to break away from the traditional games approach to physical education… I’d love to see more social media content and CPD opportunities to push this forward.
Despite the participants suggesting that online learning opportunities and social media provides a means to easily share resources and ideas while saving time and travel, several participants still identified face-to-face workshops and sport-specific coaching courses as their preferred method of lifestyle sport CPD.
My personal preference would be to attend CPD workshops, in addition to sport-specific coaching courses. This is due to previous experiences attending the abovementioned methods providing me with the most knowledge and competence going forward.
I find sport-specific coaching courses give you the overall subject knowledge needed to deliver. These are the most beneficial in the long term.
Sport-specific workshops/coaching courses. Sessions that are delivered by teachers as they understand the pressures of teaching and students needs when delivering lessons.
I prefer face-to-face workshops that are practical where we can run activities and participate in the delivery of content.
While participants outlined their preferences towards both online and face-to-face CPD, they acknowledged several factors which impeded their attendance at lifestyle sport CPD opportunities. Once again, logistical issues such as time and funding were considered problematic.
Time and lack of access to appropriate training and resources. The lack of ease of access to this training and resources.
Time and cost would be the most difficult. More so cost as being trained in a specific lifestyle sport may be costly and I may only be able to deliver sessions to a small group of students at an external venue.
Furthermore, participants suggested that a low awareness of available lifestyle sport CPD was impacting upon their potential engagement.
More publicity is needed. I recently had a lot of money to spend on CPD for my department but wasn’t made aware or couldn’t find any links to CPD or training for lifestyle sports.
I would be interested in any signposting to where I can access lifestyle sports CPD and resources. Prior to reading the first page, I never knew what was classed as ‘lifestyle sports’. Now that this has been explained, I would be interested in developing this after school potentially.
Unaware of how to source CPD for this.
Lack of department support but also lack of available, accessible courses. So difficult to find.
Significantly, several participants exhibited a sense of inevitability within their responses, through the suggestion that a culture change at their school was unlikely to happen. Therefore, in their perspective, attending lifestyle sport CPD would be a futile endeavour as they do not possess the agency to instigate change at curriculum level.
Not on current schemes of work so don’t devote time to this.
Cost (monetary and time). The school’s need also, i.e., we have a curriculum which is progressive and sequenced which has taken a lot of work and effort from the whole school as well as the PE team—how can lifestyle sports fit into this? What would it replace?
Ideology of the department, location, and cost.
Lifestyle activities do not feature in our timetable so little need to engage in CPD.
Lack of time and lack of department enthusiasm for lifestyle sports.
Not top of school’s agenda (PE or higher) to add to staff output.
Cost as well as the culture change required from senior leaders.
The results indicate that the participants identified an evident need to enhance their own knowledge on lifestyle sports, through sharing ideas and accessing further resources. The participants demonstrated a preference towards both online and face-to-face workshops or sport-specific CPD events, in addition to the use of social media. Nonetheless, despite some enthusiasm, participants listed several logistical and cultural barriers that need to be eradicated to increase their access and engagement with lifestyle sport CPD.

4. Discussion

The current study sought to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. This is the first study to examine PE teachers’ conceptualisation of the term lifestyle sports and to determine the factors that influence PE teachers’ ability to deliver lifestyle sports lessons. It also extends previous research literature by determining the preferences PE teachers have towards lifestyle sport CPD and their engagement with professional development in relation to lifestyle sports. Previously, research has almost exclusively examined PE teacher’s professional development in relation to the pedagogical and content knowledge associated with mainstream team sports [51,52], with limited evidence as to what constitutes effective PE-CPD [48].
Our data suggest that there is a wide spectrum of understanding regarding what PE teachers know and comprehend about lifestyle sports. Within these different notions of lifestyle sports, some PE teachers defined and understood lifestyle sports exclusively as those action and adventure sports identified within the sport sociology literature [2,3,4,5,11], whereas others solely defined it as those activities highlighted within the PE literature as being recreation-based and health-orientated [19]. There were a few PE teachers that identified lifestyle sports in terms of the two aspects of the ‘conceptual continuum’, that is, as both action and adventure sports and health-based recreational activities. However, most PE teachers merely thought that lifestyle sports were hobbies or further still, did not really know what they were. Despite the considerable difference in views amongst PE teachers in relation to what constitutes a lifestyle sport, there was some consensus that these activities were not traditional sports and that they were not activities that were regularly taught in lessons or included on PE curriculums. This spectrum of understanding is reflective of the lack of clarity regarding the term lifestyle sports in the literature [4,12,13,14,15,16,17] and could also be because of an individual’s exposure, or not, to lifestyle sports through either the media, their ITE programme, or their current context and practice [28,29,44,70]. Moreover, the phrase lifestyle sports is not a term currently used in any of the latest UK government curriculums [71,72,73,74]; this may suggest that it is a concept that may not be at the forefront of PE teachers minds in their role as front-line curriculum interpreters.
Further to this, most PE teachers in the study possessed little or no experience of delivering lifestyle sports in lessons across their careers. This is perhaps not surprising considering the traditional dominance that mainstream sports have had on PE curriculums over many years, especially competitive team sports [28,29]. Added to this, the influence of well-known socialising factors in schools and PE (i.e., the conventional views of activity choice in the curriculum, the professional and occupational socialisation of lesson content and teaching approaches, and the increase in performativity measures), make it difficult for PE teachers to develop transformative and sustainable curriculum change over time, including the incorporation of lifestyle sports [75,76,77,78,79,80].
The minority of PE teachers that had delivered lifestyle sports throughout their teaching careers tended to have done so through the guise of OAA; the teaching of this ‘activity area’ is currently a requirement of the PE national curricula in England and Wales [71,73]. This could be seen by PE teachers as a logical place to provide such sports given the contexts and environments where these activities traditionally occur (i.e., relatively ‘safe’ activities taught by PE teachers on school site, such as orienteering, or ‘riskier’ pursuits delivered by outdoor education centre staff on school residential trips where PE teachers may not have the necessary experience or qualifications, such as paddlesports) [22,34,35]. Ultimately, this lack of conceptual clarity, coupled with the limited opportunity to teach lifestyle sports on the PE curriculum, could have severe implications for the modernisation of the PE curriculum and any future reform, as well as the professional development of PE teachers, especially as the phenomenon is clearly growing within the current sport and physical activity landscape [6,7,8,9,10].
Within the context of this research, participants suggested that despite some awareness of lifestyle sports [28], several challenges prevented them from successfully implementing these activities within their school’s curriculum. Logistical issues related to a lack of time, funding, and access to resources and facilities proved decisive. However, while access to facilities and budgets for equipment impact upon curricula decisions [80], sports and activities such as parkour, orienteering, skateboarding, and ultimate frisbee perhaps offer more ‘cost effective’ and achievable lifestyle sport options for PE teachers [8,22,81]. It is likely that a varied PE curriculum, incorporating lifestyle sports in some capacity, will reduce student boredom, repetitiveness, and offer an alternative beyond an overemphasis on competitive team sports [82].
However, despite the global growth of lifestyle sports due to their well-documented physical, mental, and social benefits, there has been a reluctance from PE teachers to deviate away from traditional mainstream sports within the curriculum [22,28]. It is argued that the PE curriculum has not progressed over the last 30 years and is now ‘out of step’ with youth culture and student preferences [27,28,30,31,32]. For example, research from the United States of America (USA) indicates that students prefer individualised sports, however, teachers tend to overemphasise organised team sports within the curriculum [80]. Within the context of this study, our participants suggested that their department’s culture, and broader school ideology, provided little scope for innovation and the implementation of lifestyle sports. Fundamentally, school cultures tend to be conservative and uncritically reproduce values and pedagogies through the influence of school leaders, senior teachers, and school administrators [83,84]. This possibly explains why our participants felt they were unable to disrupt the status quo, with more established members of staff embodying strong beliefs developed through a process of organisational socialisation [83].
Furthermore, the participants did not believe they possessed the knowledge to deliver lifestyle sport lessons, primarily due to their limited access to lifestyle sports content within their ITE or CPD events. Thus, a gap between the participants’ propositional knowledge and performance knowledge appeared evident, where some participants were ‘aware’ of what lifestyle sports are but lacked the knowledge and departmental support to implement these within their practice [85], ultimately impacting upon curriculum decisions [80]. Furthermore, participants suggested their ITE programmes contained little information to support the design and delivery of lifestyle sports. This is perhaps unsurprising, as PE ITE programmes are heavily influenced by and reproduce strong subject traditions [79,85], making it difficult to modify school curriculums. During their ITE, it is possible that the participants underwent a process of professional socialisation, which might have influenced their current attitudes and perceptions towards lifestyle sports [83]. In a similar vein to the incorporation of health in PE (see Alfrey et al. [55]), lifestyle sports are generally marginalised within ITE in favour of mainstream team sports. Therefore, the participants may arrive as qualified PE teachers with limited exposure to, and understanding of, lifestyle sports.
Problematically, the findings indicated that participants who possessed an enthusiasm towards lifestyle sports generally struggled to “push back against prevailing views and practices” within their school’s PE curriculum [84] (p. 108). Logistical issues coupled with established curriculums, developed by departmental leads who have undergone extended periods of both professional and organisational socialisation [83], has made it difficult for the participants to instigate change. Consequently, the findings from this research would suggest an evident need for PE ITE programmes to embed lifestyle sports content, to help provide PE teachers with the appropriate pedagogical and content required to deliver meaningful lessons. Moreover, it would seem PE teachers need greater accessibility to lifestyle sport CPD opportunities, which are designed and delivered in a manner which challenges deep-rooted philosophies and beliefs [55].
Indeed, access to effective CPD is seen as a key mechanism behind developing and enhancing teachers’ professional knowledge and practice [46,86]; however, more does not necessarily guarantee ‘better’ [51]. Our participants emphasised a desire to attend lifestyle sport CPD opportunities, due to the inadequate content within their PE ITE programmes. Despite this, research exploring PE-CPD has suggested that overall, much provision lacks coherence, relevance, and struggles to impact upon practice [46,47,48]. To maximise its effectiveness, CPD needs to be tailored towards the preferences of PE teachers. However, PE teachers’ preferences towards professional learning opportunities are largely unexplored [47,51,52], especially in relation to lifestyle sports.
In addressing this area, the findings from this research indicate that the participants prefer the use of online CPD and social media to access lifestyle sport content. While there are challenges associated with online CPD (e.g., practical relevance, reduced social interaction), the participants believed this approach would allow them to save time and travel in comparison to face-to-face alternatives [87], while helping to “fill specific gaps in teacher education and knowledge” [47] (p. 11). Recent research has argued that online CPD formats (e.g., webinars, podcasts, online workshops, virtual conferences) are transforming the landscape of PE teacher learning by reducing isolation and enabling customised approaches which impacts upon practice [47,86,88]. Furthermore, social media is rapidly becoming a contemporary form of PE-CPD [89], enabling communities and networks to be created which permits users to share ideas and resources globally [89,90]. In comparison to traditional forms of CPD, social media enables users to decide how, when, and whom to engage with [90], which is especially useful for educators who may feel isolated and unable to share ideas within restrictive learning environments at their current institution [50,90,91].
Nonetheless, while online CPD and social media can be considered contemporary and innovative approaches towards PE teacher professional learning [89,90], interestingly some participants still expressed a preference for traditional face-to-face CPD workshops and sport-specific coaching courses. There is limited evidence towards what constitutes effective PE-CPD [48]; however, traditional forms of CPD as identified by the participants have been frequently critiqued for focusing on breadth rather than depth, excessive delivery of content knowledge, overlooking learner needs, while restricting opportunities for collaborative reflection [46,52,92]. If PE teachers do prefer this method of CPD delivery, it is imperative that such provision provides “useful ideas delivered by good presenters who understand real-world teaching and problem-solving techniques, create challenging and thought-provoking materials, and offer time for reflection and collaboration” [93] (p. 273).
Alongside declaring their preferences towards the format of lifestyle sport CPD, participants also identified the major factors currently restricting their engagement with such provision. Consistent with existing research (see Charteris et al. [87]), logistical issues such as time and funding were cited as barriers preventing engagement with lifestyle sport CPD. Moreover, the participants indicated that they lacked an awareness of how to source and access lifestyle sport CPD, which significantly hindered their attendance [55]. However, despite these difficulties, PE teachers may need to take responsibility for their own development by demonstrating the necessary motivation and dispositions needed to engage with available opportunities, rather than demonstrating a ‘passive orientation’ towards professional learning [46,50]. It could be argued that some participants did not demonstrate the dispositions needed to engage with further learning opportunities. Although the potential benefits associated with online CPD and social media might mitigate the logistical issues participants cited.
Furthermore, internal support from HoD, senior leaders, and departmental cultures were also regarded as significant facets which influenced participants’ engagement with PE-CPD. Personal, professional, and contextual factors influence PE teachers’ ability to learn [50,54]; however, our findings indicate that a lack of departmental support and enthusiasm towards lifestyle sports resulted in some participants possessing a “limited motivation to learn” lifestyle sport content [50] (p. 584). Evidence suggests that CPD is more effective when PE teachers receive support from key school stakeholders [92]. Problematically, the participants within this research lacked the desire to access lifestyle sport CPD, due to the assumption they would not have the opportunity to embed their obtained knowledge within the curriculum. Despite the increased autonomy and greater accessibility associated with contemporary forms of CPD, such as social media [90], some participants were still resigned to the reality that they had “little freedom related to the curriculum they enact” [80] (p. 3). A lack of autonomy to direct the focus of professional learning will severely impact upon teachers’ motivations to engage with CPD [46,86]. If PE teachers believe that curricula reform is not possible, lifestyle sport CPD, regardless of its accessibility, is unlikely to be engaged with.
Thus, limited internal support and fixed curriculums structured participants’ dispositions towards their professional learning and engagement with lifestyle sport CPD [46,50]. The findings highlighted how many participants operated within restrictive learning environments [91], where the collection and distribution of new knowledge (e.g., lifestyle sports) was overlooked and discouraged, resulting in limited motivation to engage with lifestyle sport CPD. Consequently, there is a need for PE departments to foster a ‘leadership for learning’ culture, which recognises the influence of HoD and senior leaders in supporting PE teachers’ engagement with CPD opportunities, to innovate curriculums and enhance both student learning experiences [86].

5. Conclusions

The aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. This research has provided novel insights into PE teachers’ understanding and conceptualisation of lifestyle sports, by identifying the challenges currently restricting their ability to design and embed lifestyle sports within their school curriculum. Principally, this research has contributed significantly to the broader PE-CPD literature and the more nuanced lifestyle sports literature by identifying UK-based PE teachers’ CPD needs and preferences, while also illuminating the primary factors which are currently hindering their capacity to deliver meaningful lifestyle sport lessons and engage with relevant CPD.
In summary, the findings indicate that UK-based PE teachers seemingly possess varied definitions of lifestyle sports, which has ultimately impacted upon their ability to design and deliver such content within their teaching practice. Furthermore, PE teachers face several challenges when looking to incorporate lifestyle sports within their delivery, with logistical factors such as time, funding, and facilities, coupled with contextual and personal elements such as a restrictive curriculum and limited knowledge ultimately proving significant. Having identified a lack of knowledge as a pivotal factor hindering their teaching practice, the participants within this research were able to outline their CPD preferences in terms of format of delivery, while further acknowledging the reasons behind their limited engagement with lifestyle sport CPD. As a result of these findings, several recommendations are made for PE teachers, school PE departments, and PE-CPD providers to critically reflect upon.

5.1. Recommendations for PE Teachers

To enhance professional knowledge and practice, PE-CPD is paramount [86]. However, the findings from this research have identified several challenges restricting PE teachers’ capacity to attend lifestyle sports CPD and enacting curricula change. While personal, professional, and contextual factors impact upon PE teachers’ ability to learn and access CPD [50], PE teachers should try to take responsibility for their own CPD and not solely rely on their institution for support, as the evidence suggests this is not always available. Traditional face-to-face formats of PE-CPD are “constrained by travelling distances, associated costs, and difficulties finding relief staff” [87] (p. 640). Therefore, PE teachers should actively source and engage with innovative and cost-effective forms of CPD, such as online learning (e.g., webinars, online conferences, podcasts) and social media [47,89,90], to enhance their knowledge and understanding of lifestyle sports. Having engaged with this content, PE teachers have a responsibility to disseminate new knowledge to their colleagues while stimulating discussion and reflection, to try and encourage curricula transformation.

5.2. Recommendations for School PE Departments

Our findings indicate that PE teachers in the UK face several institutional challenges (e.g., culture, HoD, access to funding and facilities) when striving to implement new ideas within their teaching practice and PE curriculum. Changing established PE curriculums requires PE departments and PE teachers to work collaboratively to mitigate problematic external and internal factors [80]. While evidence suggests that organisational socialisation can be crucial in the uncritical reproduction of teaching practices and curriculums [83], organisational socialisation can also be transformative through “innovative and supportive school cultures” [84] (p. 119). For instance, there is a need to consider student and staff preferences to understand how the PE curriculum can be (re)designed to reflect the youth culture of today, with the integration of lifestyle sports a clear example of how this might be achieved [22].
Evidence suggests that CPD is more meaningful and effective if school PE departments support their staff through the development of expansive learning environments [46,91,92]. Departmental support which is sustained is likely to impact PE teachers’ ability to adapt their practices and enhance student learning [54]. PE-CPD can be costly (time and funding), therefore, schools might encourage more innovative and cost-effective forms of PE-CPD (e.g., online learning and social media), which has the potential to support multiple individuals. For example, if a PE teacher can engage with lifestyle sport CPD (either online or face-to-face), the PE department may look to sustain and facilitate internal learning opportunities through the development of professional learning communities or teacher learning walks (see Schlosser et al. [49]). If PE departments can create an environment where PE teachers can collaborate to further enhance their knowledge and skills, while engaging with critical reflection, it is likely teachers will be more willing to take risks and instigate change amongst their colleagues [46,48,49].

5.3. Recommendations for PE-CPD Providers

As Makopoulou and Armour [50] (p. 586) suggest, there is “no easy or simple solutions to the challenging issue of designing effective professional development that can meet the needs of all teachers”. However, it is important that any CPD dedicated to lifestyle sports can help challenge the status quo and equip PE teachers with the knowledge needed to facilitate student learning. While traditional face-to-face workshops have been identified as an ineffective method of PE teacher CPD (see Tannehill et al. [46], Armour et al. [48], and Schlosser et al. [49]), our participants still expressed their inclinations towards this method of lifestyle sports CPD. In contrast, several participants demonstrated a preference for contemporary forms of PE-CPD, such as online learning and social media [47,89,90].
Consequently, the findings from this research indicate that PE-CPD providers might contemplate the development of a hybrid approach towards designing and delivering lifestyle sports CPD, which incorporates both online and in-person content [88]. While online CPD is potentially more flexible, supports teachers who are geographically dispersed, and provides real-time work-embedded support [47], face-to-face delivery may help to contextualise content and provide further opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and reflection [48,86]. Regardless of whether lifestyle sport CPD is online, in person, or mixed, it is paramount that any professional development opportunity is delivered with care, while being relevant, collaborative, and acknowledges PE teachers as active learners [46].

5.4. Study Limitations and Areas for Future Research

This research has provided novel insights into UK PE teachers’ understanding and delivery of lifestyle sports, in addition to their preferences towards lifestyle sport CPD and the factors impacting upon their engagement. However, some limitations need to be acknowledged and areas of future research identified. First, while qualitative online surveys have several distinct advantages (see Braun et al. [61]), they were the single research method for this study, relying upon self-report data. Future research should look to adopt multiple methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, and observations) over a prolonged period (e.g., a term or academic year) to obtain a more holistic understanding of the challenges and opportunities PE teachers face in embedding lifestyle sports within the curriculum. Second, while this research focused on UK-based PE teachers, some of the participants’ experiences and perceptions may be contextually bound, and not wholly generalisable to all PE teachers globally. For example, one participant proposed:
I would like to see how somebody who doesn’t live in a city would approach these questions and if their experience of lifestyle sports differs as they would have greater facilities and closer environments to work with. Having previously lived in Australia these sports were participated in regularly. However, since returning back to England its very rare to see them on the curriculum unless schools are sending students to a weekend residential.
Thus, there is a need to compare PE teachers’ understanding of lifestyle sports across cultures and countries, as different contexts may result in diverse attitudes towards these activities. Furthermore, PE teachers across different geographical regions may have access to either increased or decreased learning opportunities, which might ultimately contribute towards their understanding, knowledge, and ability to design and deliver lifestyle sports lessons. Third, while the voices of PE teachers across different geographical regions is required, future research may also look to incorporate the experiences of multiple stakeholders (e.g., HoD, students, and parents), as these social actors will influence how lifestyle sports are understood and perceived within a localised school context. Finally, this research has outlined PE teachers’ preferences towards lifestyle sport CPD. However, the next logical step is to explore how engagement with such provision influences PE teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical delivery of lifestyle sports lessons.

Author Contributions

Both authors contributed equally to the production and analysis contained within this article. Both authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

This study was approved by the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, UK.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study.


The authors would like to thank the participants for giving up their time to participate within the research.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Table 1. Online Survey Topic-Based Questions (Section 4).
Table 1. Online Survey Topic-Based Questions (Section 4).
  • What is your current understanding of the term lifestyle sports?
What are your experiences of designing and delivering physical education lessons/extra-curricular sessions on lifestyle sports?
Are there any factors which are currently restricting your ability to design and deliver more physical education lessons/extra-curricular sessions on lifestyle sports?
When reflecting upon your professional development to date, how much content has related to the design and delivery of lifestyle sports?
What are your current professional development needs in relation to lifestyle sports?
What is your preferred method of professional development to enhance your knowledge and understanding of lifestyle sports?
What factors are preventing you from accessing and engaging with professional development opportunities related to lifestyle sports?
Table 2. Participant Demographic Information.
Table 2. Participant Demographic Information.
Individual-Level VariablesNPercentMeanSD
Age53 36.78.7
Ethnic Group
White-English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British4992.4
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British-African11.9
Asian/Asian British-Indian11.9
Other Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Background11.9
Country of Residence
Qualified Teacher Status
Method of Obtaining Qualified Teacher Status
University-Based Provider3675.0
School-Based Provider1225.0
Number of Years Teaching PE 11.37.4
Number of Years Teaching PE at Current School 5.65.7
Type of School
Educational Stage
Primary/Preparatory and Secondary/Senior59.4
Department Responsibility
Head of Department/Faculty/Subject Lead2241.5
Assistant Head of Department/Sport-Specific Lead1324.5
Other School Responsibility35.7
Number of Schools PE Taught During Career 2.91.4
Sport Coaching Qualification
Highest Level of Sport Coaching Qualification
Level 512.2
Level 424.3
Level 3919.6
Level 22452.2
Level 11021.7
Number of PE Lessons Taught Each Week 13.08.1
Duration of PE Lessons Taught Each Week (minutes) 61.110.9
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Leeder, T.M.; Beaumont, L.C. Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education Teachers’ Professional Development in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Survey Analysis. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 642.

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Leeder TM, Beaumont LC. Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education Teachers’ Professional Development in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Survey Analysis. Education Sciences. 2021; 11(10):642.

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Leeder, Thomas M., and Lee C. Beaumont. 2021. "Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education Teachers’ Professional Development in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Survey Analysis" Education Sciences 11, no. 10: 642.

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