<bold>Objective.</bold> To evaluate the growth, maturity and functional characteristics of female sport school participants 11 - 15 years of age. <bold>Material and methods.</bold> The sample included 200 girls aged from 10.55 to 15.42 years. The majority (173) trained in track and field. Height, weight, three skinfolds and % Fat (NIR) were measured. Grip strength, standing long jump, 2 kg medicine ball throw and 20 m sprint were tested. Athletes were compared by menarcheal status and track and field discipline with MANCOVA. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to estimate the relative contributions of age, height, weight and adiposity to the four functional indicators in two age groups, 11 - 13 years and 14 - 15 years. <bold>Results.</bold> Median age at menarche was 12.99 ± 1.11 years. None of the functional tests differed between pre- and post-menarcheal athletes 13 years, while only grip strength differed between late and early maturing athletes 14 - 15 years. Height, weight and % Fat, but no performance items differed among track and field athletes by discipline. Team and individual sport athletes were heavier, fatter and stronger than track and field athletes but the latter performed better in the sprint and jump. Height, weight and adiposity accounted for significant portions of variation in the four functional indicators in each age group. <bold>Conclusions.</bold> Trends in body size of female athletes attending sport schools were generally consistent with observations for female athletes in several sports. Percentages of variance explained in functional indicators were greater in athletes 11 - 13 than 14 - 15 years of age.
Malina R. M., Growth and maturation of young athletes - Is training for sport a factor? In: Chan K.-M., Micheli L. J. (eds.), Sports and Children. Williams and Wilkins Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong, 1998, 133-161.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.