Professional development, skills, and competences in sports: a survey in the field of sport management among public managers

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Sesinando, André Dionísio
Seguí Urbaneja, Jordi
Teixeira, Mário Coelho
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cc-by (c)  André Dionísio Sesinando, Jordi Seguí-Urbaneja, Mário Coelhoa Teixeira, 2022
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Background: Sport management in municipalities has an enormous importance and is becoming increasingly complex, requiring specific and robust skills from sport managers. The discussion about the role of sport managers has gained increasing importance within scientific research in sport, being crucial to possess essential knowledge and skills to act efficiently and effectively in increasingly complex and differentiated contexts, based on academic training. Approach: This study aims to deepen the knowledge about managers and municipal officials with responsibilities in sports by identifying the socio-demographic profile, professionals with specific training in sport management and its perceived value in the improvement of skills. Methods: Methodologically, it is a descriptive quantitative study of exploratory nature, data were collected in a universe of 308 Portuguese municipalities through a questionnaire survey, obtaining 433 valid responses from 302 municipalities (98% representativeness). Results: The results revealed that managers are mainly male (74,5%), as are the municipal officials (73,6%), both are aged between 41-49 (51,3% and 54,4%) and have a degree, with the first having specialised in physical education (34,0%) and sport (32,0%) and the second in other non-sport areas (55,2%). Despite the low level of academic training in sport management (10,0% and 8,0%), both consider this expertise important in improving professional skills and practices (>80,0% and >75,0%). Conclusion: We conclude that there is an unequivocal appreciation of sport management training as a tool for improving management and leadership skills, making it imperative to analyse the fields of intervention in which it distinguishes itself. Universities have made enormous progress in adapting their academic curriculum to the needs of contemporary sport management, however, there are still very few professionals working in this area with specialized training. This scenario also makes it imperative to understand why current managers do not seek specialized training and/or if the existing training in universities offers a guarantee of a successful practice in sports organizations.
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Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 2022, vol. 22, núm. 11, p. 2800-2809