Long-term effectiveness of a fundamental motor skill intervention in Belgian children : a 6-year follow-up

Coppens, Eline and Rommers, Nikki and Bardid, Farid and Deconinck, Frederik J.A. and De Martelaer, Kristine and D'Hondt, Eva and Lenoir, Matthieu (2021) Long-term effectiveness of a fundamental motor skill intervention in Belgian children : a 6-year follow-up. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 31 (S1). pp. 23-34. ISSN 0905-7188 (https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13898)

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The aim of this study was (1) to examine the long-term effectiveness of the 'Multimove for Kids' program, a 30-week fundamental motor skill intervention (approximately 1 hour per week) for typically developing children between 3 and 8 years, and (2) to determine the influence of participation in organized sports on motor competence (MC) six years after the intervention. Of the 992 children who took part in the 'Multimove' program, 399 (intervention group: N=228, control group: N=171) were tested again at 6-year follow-up. MC was measured with the Test of Gross Motor Development, 2nd Edition. To examine the long-term impact of 'Multimove' on MC and the effect of participation in organized sports a latent growth curve analysis was conducted. After the 30-week intervention, the intervention group outperformed the control group (β=5.57, p<.001). However, when the entire study period, including the 6-year follow-up, was considered, the intervention group made less progress in MC than the control group (β=-0.41, p<.05). Looking at the engagement in organized sports, it was found that years of experience before the intervention had no significant influence on the evolution of MC over time, whereas a positive effect was observed for children’s average sports participation (h/week) during the 6-year retention period (β=0.14, p<.001). Finally, children practicing predominantly object control-oriented sports during retention, obtained slightly better MC scores at follow-up (β=0.01, p<.01). The effect of the 'Multimove' intervention does not have a long-term effect on the development of MC. However, participation in organized sports has a positive influence on MC over time.