Open Access

Olympism in School and Competitive Anxiety: Its Influence on Participants and Their Perceptions


Anxiety is one of the most widespread mental health disorders worldwide. It is prevalent throughout the life cycle and appears in multiple contexts, such as sports.In line with the idea of sport as a means of promoting integral health, the Andalusian Olympic Foundation promotes Olympic values through the “Olympism in School” programme. This programme, developed in two phases – theoretical and practical (including a “Mini Olympics”) – aims to improve the psychological development of participants through sporting competition. In order to demonstrate whether the management of factors such as competitive anxiety was achieved through this programme, 153 children aged 10-13 completed a socio-demographic data questionnaire and the SAS-2 questionnaire after participating in sporting events. The results showed that the participants endured intermediate levels of competitive anxiety (with greater weight given to the worry factor) and that the anxiety was greater in children not used to competition or who did not usually enjoy it. These findings indicate that competition is a factor related to anxiety in children and that strategies for managing the impact of the competitive context are necessary to enable enjoyment and healthy participation.