Ironically, even though South Africa will be hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup in less than a year, physical education is deprioritised in schools across the country. The benefits of sport for one’s well-being are disregarded.
This was the opinion of guests at a colloquium hosted by the Social Transformation Programme of the Department of the Premier, on Thursday the 25 June. The goal of the colloquium was to address the issue of how sport could contribute to social transformation.
The colloquium consisted firstly of a panelist discussion, where key stakeholders and academics working within the arena of sport and transformation put forward their views on sport as a mechanism for social transformation. Both the achievements and challenges at a policy level and grassroots level were raised.
Following the panelist discussion the floor was opened to the guests for comments. The floor’s diverse composition made for an insightful discussion. An interesting point to arise from the discussion is the fact that physical education is no longer included in the South African school curriculum.
Luckily, with South Africa’s responsibility as host of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, sport has been pushed up the priority list, for example with the Stars in their Eyes project that aims to uplift children in priority areas through soccer. However, sport needs to be prioritised even more. South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup should be used to put sport back into schools.
While doing an evaluation of the Stars in their Eyes project, Development Works explored the many benefits that sport has for children. It does not only keep them physically healthy, but also keeps them from the streets, gangs and drugs, builds their self-esteem and teaches them to work hard within a team. This is very necessary.
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