Sport As a Thread in the Life of the Destitute

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Cora BURNETT-LOUW , University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
A critical lens on the value and meaning of sport in the lives of what has become known as ‘high risk’ populations, does not often do justice to a meaningful understanding of the complexity of influences a of sport in lived-realities of people. In a study conducted over a five year period (2007-2011), tracing the impact of the GIZ/YDF sport-for-development programme in nine different African countries, 101 comprehensive case studies were compiled. Of these, 45 were selected based on the extensiveness of material available per case. The thematic analysis of life-integrated experiences three main themes was identified.  These themes projected differential degrees of integration of sport-related experiences in the lives of participants and implementers (e.g. managers of NGOs, coaches, peer-educator and volunteers). The first theme relates to sports-related experiences as “encounters” which could be interpreted as an initial phase in the socialisation process, where it stayed at a relatively superficial level of engagement. A second theme demonstrates an increased entanglement underpinned by experiences of relative success, acceptance and recognition. This type of engagement proliferated into a myriad of associations and various degrees of sport-role integration. The third theme shows a deepening of commitment which happened by choice and/or socio-economic realities profiling the process as a viable option for survival. The differential depth and role-assignments are analysed to identify the mechanisms in sport and society.