Category Archives: Socio-Cultural

News and articles on the Socio-Cultural aspects of sport.

Let’s STOP Inappropriate Aggression in Youth Sport

Parents watching kids play sport

Over the past number of years we have witnessed an increasing level of aggression on our sports fields both locally and around the world and involving all stakeholders in the sports participation process. There is a wide variety of examples – a water polo player being punched in the face, deliberate fouling in the front […]

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Spectator Behaviour at Youth Sporting Events

Parents Lock out

There is an alarming increase in inappropriate parental behaviour at youth sporting events worldwide. Many of us have witnessed parents shouting, screaming and even swearing at their children, the referee/umpire and coaches during sports events. In some instances there has been physical abuse and in extreme cases weapons used. Is this what youth sport is […]

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Are you a responsible parent? A walk-through on kids sports insurance


Encouraging our kids to engage more in sports to be more physically active is one of the major challenges of parenthood. More and more parents are trying to fight the increasing level of childhood obesity in the USA and around the world which has doubled for the past 30 years. While we push our kids […]

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Victory for a working athlete – Claude Moshiywa

Claude Moshiywa

Claude Moshiywa (38) became the 1st South African male since 1992 to win the “Up” run (from Durban to Pietermaritzburg) of the iconic 90km Comrades Marathon yesterday. What made this run so extraordinary is that Claude in not a full time athlete unlike most of the leading runners who compete in events of this nature. […]

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The dark side of sport – What parents need to know.

drugs and money

During the past week, 3 news stories have highlighted that there is a dark side to sport. Each of these events has a profound message for parents and kids involved in sport. Sexual Harassment in Sport Jerry Sandusky, the retired Penn State football coach, was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sex […]

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Whatever happened to child’s play?

Children skipping

This article first appeared in the Health News section of the Business Day of 7th March 2012. There are two words that seem to have been dropped from the vocabulary of childhood development these days: games and play. Obviously I am not referring to the electronic versions that consume computer and TV energy, but rather […]

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School vs Club Sport

soccer kids

In all my years involved in South African school sports departments there is one thing that has never ceased to amaze me, how much control club sport has on kids. In a country where our school sport is so broad, so diverse and so advanced how on earth has club sport survived. A marketing success […]

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Sport: winning, losing and building character

Winning - Sportmanship

The Intercol competition is on us again. The Intercol is a great competitive institution in South Australia and, arguably, one that is both most hotly contested and anticipated among the participating schools. It’s an appropriate hook on which to hang some comments in respect of the role of sport in education. Promoting participation in sport […]

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Argus Cycle Race–Fun for the entire family

Cape Argus 2012

The Cape Argus Cycle Race, the world’s largest timed cycle race was completed, without a single fatality, for the 35th time on Sunday 11th March on a glorious, although very hot day in beautiful Cape Town. 42,000 people entered the race which provides a variety of opportunities for families to exercise together in a fun, […]

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An umpire’s story

Baseball 1

The story below pertains to a junior baseball umpire in the USA. Unfortunately though past experience has proven it could easily be attached to any sport. Hopefully the impression gained as a result of reading this TRUE AND TOUCHING story will assist all of us to not only keep junior sport in it’s proper perspective, […]

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Bigger playing fields – The transition from primary to high school

Chalkboard with words "back to school"

It’s tough making the move from primary to high school for several reasons, but the struggles in the sports realm often go undiscussed. Whether it’s moving from being the top athlete at a small school to being one of many good athletes at a large school, dealing with body issues, or deciding on your sporting […]

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My beautiful parents getting me to succeed

donne potgieter (2)

Donne Potgieter (30) is one of South Africa’s most successful female shotists and she attributes her success to the positive role that her parents and in particular her father played in her sporting life. Donne medalled at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in 1998, while still at school….shot in both CWG finals in 2002, won individual […]

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Sexual harassment in sport – An unfortunate reality

Coach Discussing Strategy

In the past few weeks there have been a number of reports of sexual harassment charges against sports coaches around the world. To mention just three: · A karate instructor accused of sexually abusing young girls appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in South Africa last week and was denied bail pending further investigation into […]

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Looking for a Green sport with life time benefits? Try sailing!

Sailing Boat

It’s often said that there are 3 types of people: 1. Those who make things happen 2. Those who watch things happen and, 3. Those who wonder what happened… The thing is, you don’t make it into the first group without a bit of training and discipline. Being proactive and having the ability to get […]

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Make exercise a fun, family activity 365 days of the year

fun run

An exciting event is taking place in Cape Town on Sunday 6th November, the “MySchool Move for Your Health” 6km Fun Walk/Run, to encourage parents and kids to start or continue exercising. But that’s just one day, WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 364 DAYS OF THE YEAR? They are equally important! This event is a match […]

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Kodokan Judo – 129 yrs old and stronger than ever!

Judo - All Africa Games 2011

There are reasons why Judo was introduced to the Olympic Games 45 yrs ago, why it is still there, and why at that level, only Olympic Gymnastics tickets sell out faster. Reputed to be the most widely practised sport in the world (after soccer), it is many things to many people. At first impressions, what […]

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Lessons for our kids from Bryce Lawrence


For the past week much of the sporting public’s attention has been on the poor reffing of Bryce Lawrence in the World Cup quarter final match last Sunday. There have been allegations ranging from bias to “match fixing”. As a professional referee in the game’s most prestigious tournament, there is certainly a case to be […]

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Are our children doing enough physical exercise?

KIds playing football

The importance of sport in the lives of the South African youth has never been greater. Increasing popularity of television, computer, video games and cellular telephone technology contribute to children’s inactive lifestyles. This time could be spent doing some recreational or physical activity. Physical activity has also been associated with psychological benefits in young people […]

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Infant Swimming and Water Safety

Swimming - Matthew Bester 2

We all know about drowning. It’s a huge concern, for most people. And for those of you with toddlers – the toddler drowning rate is 3 x higher than in any other age group. Well, I’m here today, to give you some great news… toddlers CAN save themselves from drowning. They can learn to swim […]

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Have your say – How should parents, coaches and players behave?

Code of Conduct

The relationship between parents, athletes/players and coaches is critical to the success of any sporting experience whether it is at a junior participation level or at the highest level of competition. We are often asked for advice on how to ensure that this relationship produces a positive experience for all stakeholders. We believe that communication […]

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Don’t get caught out by the law! Get educated.

Sports Law

Listen to what a personal injury lawyer has to say (Mary Ann Dove, from PSP in conversation with Tzvi Brivik, from Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Inc.) On 4th May 2011 in the Western Cape High Court a landmark judgement was handed down by Judge Burton Fourie when he determined that a high school rugby player […]

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25 Practical Tips for Parents to Guide their Children’s Sporting Endeavours

Soccer on beach

As society has transformed over the past 30 years there have been significant paradigm shifts in physical activity and sport. On the one hand changing childhood behaviour patterns has resulted in decreasing physical activity levels whilst at the other end of the spectrum the increasing professionalism of sport has exacerbated the pressure placed on young […]

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A Prep School Sports Teacher Perspective

St Peters Runners

Mary Ann Dove in conversation with Grant Jansen, former Head of Sport at St. Peter’s Boys School, Johannesburg, South Africa. MD: What was the greatest challenge you faced as head of sport at a primary school? JG: As a teacher the natural thing for you to do is to help others and play a part […]

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Life skills automatically result from mere participation. True or false?


“The moral value of exercises and sports far outweigh the physical value” was attributed to the philosopher Plato.    Sport has been seen to contribute to “moral value” and life skills for thousands of years and has become a key word in recent times.   But current research is questioning whether this happens automatically or is only […]

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