Even though South Africa is a country renowned for its sports prowess, financial constraints at schools result in poor children being denied their right to play.
South African sports
Sport is synonymous with the South African culture, with our national rugby, soccer and cricket teams internationally acclaimed as some of the best in Africa and even the world. It is therefore very sad that, in a nation who sees sport as a very important part of their culture, not all children are given equal opportunities to access sports and sports development. This not only keeps gifted children from reaching their full potential, but also deny children the right to the skills and growth that is associated with sports development.
Sport for life skills and development
Sport is more than just the need for exercise and a way to keep children active. It is a valuable tool for early childhood development and also teaches children the value of teamwork and fair play. In addition to learning about teamwork, active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults. Benefits of sport and physical activity for children include reduced risk of obesity, increased cardiovascular fitness, improved coordination and balance, better sleep and improved social skills. Best of all, getting moving is fun and the children learn valuable life skills through fun and challenging activities.
Challenges facing school sports
With many schools in South Africa not having access to electricity and running water, sports development frequently take the backseat in resource priorities. Furthermore, physical education has been removed from the South African educational curriculum, limiting children’s access to sports equipment and play. Schools are no longer being supplied with the equipment required for sports and do not have the additional resources to purchase the equipment on their own. Children from impoverished communities also don’t have the necessary funds to partake in sports in their individual capacity and rely heavily on the opportunities presented by schools. The impoverished conditions under which these children grow up makes them prone to drug abuse and criminal activities, with no way to release their frustrations through sports and recreational activities. Kagisho Dikgacoi is one example of such a skilled individual who used sports to keep him out of trouble and was able to make a career out of the sport he loves.
DTR’s Sports Development Programme and Surf Outreach project
Dreams To Reality knows that there are some skills you just cannot learn in the schoolroom and our Sports Development Program is one of the volunteer organisation programs that identifies the importance of participation in sport to improve team spirit, skill building and development amongst underprivileged children. Not only are these children given an outlet for their fears, frustrations and enthusiasm but they are encouraged to give their all, practice their abilities and above all, keep their childlike enthusiasm for life and the future.
Contact us to find out how you can become part of DTR’s Sports Development Programme and Surf Outreach project to help create a better future through sports.
Image: The Times UK, Kagisho Dikgacoi Foundation