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2010 | 49 | 1 | 72-77

Article title

Elite Sport and Leisure Sport in Hungary: The Double Trouble



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The main purpose of this study is to give insight into the current status of two big areas of sport in Hungary: elite sport and leisure sport. As the expression ‘double trouble’ in the title indicates, in Hungary there are several problems in both areas.Hungary is a small country, but its Olympic teams were traditionally very successful in the Games. However, at the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing, Hungarian athletes performed below expectations, winning only three gold medals. The sport's political leaders and the public were very disappointed, therefore many experts tried to analyse the main reasons for the failure. They suggested that there were four problems in the background: the continuous disintegration of the sport clubs system; the low prestige of coaches and professionals working in sport; insufficient financial support and its inadequate timing; and the deficiency of sports science and its health care background. The second trouble concerns the sporting habits of Hungarian society. The country has faced the same problem for many decades: only a very low percentage of the Hungarian population takes part regularly in leisure sport programs. The latest empirical research shows that more than 60% of Hungarians do not do sports with suitable regularity. In comparing previous research results, there are a few changes among Hungarians according to gender, age and status of residence.How can this double trouble be resolved, or at least, how could both areas be somewhat improved? In Hungary, it is not really an easy task.









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1 - 10 - 2010
16 - 12 - 2010


  • Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary


  • Földesi, S. G. (1991). From Mass Sport to the "Sport for All" Movement in the "Socialist" Countries in Eastern Europe. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 26(4), 239-257.
  • Földesi, S. G. (1996). A magyar sport átalakulása az 1989-1990-es rendszerváltás után. In G. S. Földesi (Ed.) A magyar sport szellemi körképe (pp.13-52). Budapest: OTSH-MOB.
  • Földesi S. G. (2006). Post-transformational trends in Hungarian sport (1995-2004). Kalokagathia, 1-2, 28-38.
  • Földesi, S. G. & Gál, A. (2008). Válaszút előtt a sportpolitika. Magyar Sporttudományi Szemle, (9)34, 4-10.
  • Földesi, S. G., Nagy, J & Jakabházy, L. (2002). Hungary: The Development of Sport for All in a Sporting Nation. In P. L. DaCosta & A. Miragaya (Eds.) Worldwide Experiences and Trends in Sport for All. (pp.449-474). Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport.

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Publication order reference


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