Assessing the relationship between sports engagement and school performance amongst learners in Chesterville Secondary school, Durban.
There is a growing body of knowledge in the field of sociology of sports and education which speaks to the positive relationship between youth engagement in organised sports and school performance. These sources of knowledge are largely confined to the developed countries in Europe and North America addressing the impact of organised sports on Positive Youth Development (PYD). In a developing context such as South Africa, which is undergoing rapid transformation from the previous legacy of apartheid, youth are defined as being at risk especially in light of the vast levels of social and economic inequalities which threatens its newly found democracy. It is in this context, the study located in a historically disadvantaged high school in the township of Chesterville in the Metropolitan Area of Durban, examines the role of school sports engagement as an element of PYD in enhancing school performance. The study seeks to assess the applicability of PYD principles in a developing and historically disadvantaged context within a school setting with the purpose of making contribution towards intervention programmes for the vast majority of South African youth who are considered to be at risk. Using a sample of 100 male and female learners in Grades 11 and 12 with an equal distribution of sports engaged and non-engaged, the study tests the principles of two PYD elements in respect of school Competence and Contribution to community. The study is of an exploratory nature on the applicability of PYD programmes in a context such as South Africa and does not purport to be conclusive, but instead the merit of a study of this nature is to set the foundation for future research studies in the fields of sociology of sports and education in order to intervene on the different social, political and economic volatility that South African youth are challenged within a democratic era.
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