Sport participation in a Durban primary school : a gendered study of grades 4 to 7.
This research focuses on establishing the gendered nature of sport participation at J.C. Primary. In an attempt to establish the gendered nature of sport participation in a Durban Primary School, based on existing, theoretical, comparative and historical literature, the data revealed that boys generally participated more actively in sport. However, the data also revealed that girls benefited from the school's sport policy, which encouraged boys and girls to participate. In particular, Indian girls played more sport than Indian boys. My findings, based on the use of qualitative and quantitative data received from the participants in terms of their questionnaires, revealed that Indian boys/girls dominate in terms of participation while African boys and girls are very sports active and tend to make more use of the school's sport policy than the majority of Indian girls. Unsurprisingly, many more boys than girls were opposed to girls playing soccer. About 25% of boys in each race groups were opposed to girls playing soccer. Predictably the vast majority of girls across race groups favoured soccer being played by girls. My semi-structured interview with the Principal revealed that he was 'sports mad' as he enthusiastically promoted sport at the school, regardless of gender and race. My focus was on the efforts that were consciously made to create sport as an arena of gender and racial mixing, In so doing, the following key questions were focused on: What is the rate of participation at J.C. Primary in terms of race and gender? In terms of participation rates, which sport is the most popular amongst boys and girls? Are there any differences in the ways boys and girls view sport participation at J.C. Primary? What does the school currently do to promote or encourage sport participation at school, particularly insofar as gender-equal participation is concerned? I had observed that although there was a trend for boys to be given preferential treatment in sport than girls, at J.C. Primary the school's sporting policy impacted in a positive way to even out differences and inequalities in sport participation between boys and girls. Although schools and other agencies are implicated in the manner in which sport is played, whereby gender inequality is practiced, boys and girls at J.C. Primary were given equal opportunities in sport, which encouraged their participation in sport. This study has, in fact, shown that J.C. Primary promotes sport in a very active way as it provides facilities and organizational energy and it goes to great lengths to ensure widespread participation. It has also shown that the school's policy has been successful in promoting equal gender participation even though, historically, most sporting cultures have been predominantly male.