The impact of the australia-africa 2006 sport development programmes active community clubs initiative

Por: Cora Burnett e Wim Hollander.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The aim of the research was to establish and assess the impact of the Active Community Clubs Initiative on two South African communities (one urban and one rural) where the Initiative was piloted to address the manifestations of chronic poverty through community-based clubs. The Sports Development Programme formed the nucleus of such clubs in which volunteers were trained to take responsibility for addressing the needs of communities through shared ownership of activities that may impact on their functionality and sustainable development. Social indicators were developed to serve as a conceptual framework for the assessment of change from ‘base line data’.


The SDIAT (Burnett & Uys, 2001) was implemented to obtain multi-faceted and -level data at three six month-intervals from June 2002 to July 2003, representing the pre-, mid- and post-intervention phases of programme implementation. The methods entailed: i) structured interviews (n=39), ii) questionnaires (n=301); iii) focus group sessions (n=424); iv) case studies (n=31); and v) sport skill tests (n=299).


The unemployed volunteer coaches and administrators became a valuable resource for service delivery in the communities. A decline in ‘social fabric crimes’ and pro-social behaviour were reported. Inter-personal power relations changed, as children and significant others (parents and coaches) bonded and trust developed through shared experiences and responsibilities. The development of ‘social capital’ and heightened self-esteem outweighed the physical skill component. The lack of resouces impacted negatively on programme delivery and needs to be addressed.


Sport participation and community based service delivery of needs-matched programmes have far-reaching social, moral and psychological benefits for individuals, groups and social institutions that meaningfully impact on the quality functioning of community life.


[1]. Burnett, C. & Uys, T. (2000). Sport development impact assessment: towards a rationale and tool. S.A.Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation, 22(1):27-40.







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