Review Article

Sport development in rural schools of Lephalale in Limpopo province: Barriers and facilitators

Tulycia M. Letshokotla, Douglas Maleka, Mary L. Galantino, Rethabile Nkuna
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 80, No 1 | a2004 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v80i1.2004 | © 2024 Tulycia M. Letshokotla, Douglas Maleka, Mary L. Galantino, Rethabile Nkuna | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 October 2023 | Published: 20 May 2024

About the author(s)

Tulycia M. Letshokotla, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Science University, Pretoria, South Africa
Douglas Maleka, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Science University, Pretoria, South Africa
Mary L. Galantino, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stockton University, New Jersey, United States
Rethabile Nkuna, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Science University, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Sports development and promotion of physical activities (PA) through various sports in rural schools of South Africa (SA) is essential to optimise growth and wellbeing of children. There is a paucity of research specific to rural areas, and this is implicated on the lack of resources, effective programmes as well as resources to promote structured PAs and sports.

Objectives: To explore sports development facilitators and barriers in rural schools.

Method: We conducted an exploratory qualitative study and recruited Life Orientation (LO) teachers and school principals. We established structured interview guidelines and recorded the interviews which were transcribed verbatim. Data saturation was reached by the eighth participant. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis.

Results: Participating schools experienced shared challenges in developing and promoting PAs. Five themes emerged addressing the barriers: sport facilities, time management, workload, financial constraints, and lack of participation. Six categories emerged as facilitators: intrapersonal factors, interpersonal factors, personal, social, physical and mental benefits.

Conclusion: Most rural schools in Lephalale district struggle to promote and develop sports because of several targeted factors. These schools have little to no strategic plans to develop and promote sports because of the prioritisation of the core curriculum and/or examinable subjects in classroom duties which is deemed their highest priority.

Clinical Implication(s): Implementation of tailored sports development policies in rural schools via acquisition of resources, education regarding the positive impact of sport, and focused planning is required. Healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists may aid in the encouragement of sports.


Keywords

rural schools; sports development; physical activity; facilitators; barriers

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

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