1The University of Pretoria, Department of Humanities Education, Pretoria, South Africa
2The University of Pretoria, Department of Physiology, Division of Biokinetics and Sport Science, Pretoria, South Africa
3Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, South Africa
Youth Experiences of a Sport Development Programme in a Rural South African Context
Sport is a powerful development tool and social connector. Sport development programmes are often perceived as an effective means of encouraging youth development and teaching positive values, as well as providing opportunities for developmental experiences. This study was set out to understand youth experiences of a rural South African sport development programme and to identify the factors which contributed to the youth experiences. Thus, the study aimed to construct authentic knowledge and respond to tensions and debates about youth development and rurality in an African context. This study followed a qualitative, descriptive research design. Purposive sampling was applied and arts-informed methods such as drawings and photovoice, combined with semi-structured interviews, were used for data construction. Qualitative data analysis computer software ATLAS.ti (v.8.4.15) was used, and semiotic visual data analysis, photovoice data analysis strategies, thematic data analysis and member reflection were used as methods for data analysis. The results of this study highlighted multiple perspectives of the participants’ experiences and complexities of relationships within the social context of the youth participants in the study. Therefore, youth experiences and perspectives cannot be viewed in isolation. The sports development programmes need to consider working with schools, parents, teachers and coaches. It emerged from the results that social interaction, a sense of family, the desire for positive relationships and a conducive sports environment were considered critical aspects that promoted positive experiences in the sport development programme.
arts-informed methods, community, developmental experiences, rurality,sport development programme, youth development
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