Key words: talent, talent development, cognition, achievement, physical activity
Talent identification in sport refers to the process of recognizing the most talented individuals in order to fully develop their potentials. The selection of sport is rarely based on etical principles, children’s personal preferences and predispositions. The objectives of the Project are: 1) To connect institutions and strengthen the capacities for implementing research in the area of: talent detection, identification, orientation and monitoring in sport, 2) To investigate the impact of physical activity and sport on cognition and academic achievement, 3) To generate new knowledge and create preconditions for establishing a national model of talent detection, identification, orientation and monitoring in sport, 4) To strengthen awareness on the importance and positive impact of physical activity and sport on health and academic achievement. On a sample of 300 subjects drawn from primary school students and young elite athletes selected from different sports, measuring instruments will be applied to assess: anthropometric characteristics, motor, functional and cognitive skills, and genetic predispositions. Cognitive skills will be assessed digitally by the CANTAB battery of tests, whereas subjects’ preferences and predispositions for a certain sport will be assesses by applying the Sports Compass Model and analysis of genetic predispositions. By developing a suitable ICT solution, data on subjects’ academic achievement, physical activity, health and social status will be collected. Project activities will result in: education and equipping of the laboratories, a study on methodology of data collection, testing of applicability of the Sports Compass model on different sports, and conclusions on the correlation between physical activity, cognition and academic achievement. The results of the Project are expected to contribute to establishing the new Croatian National system of talent detection, identification, orientation and monitoring in sport.