Main Article Content

The relationship between sport participation and life satisfaction in an impoverished South African community

N Meyer
DF Meyer


The unacceptable high levels of unemployment in South Africa have resulted in high levels of poverty and inequality. The purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between participation in sport and life satisfaction in a low income community. With nearly half of the South African population living in poverty, the question arises whether life satisfaction can be influenced by sport participation. The literature review indicated that low-income communities have relatively low levels of participation in sport. In addition, a positive relationship exists between sport participation and life satisfaction. The research methodology includes a quantitative household survey and a qualitative in-depth interview process in Sicelo, a lowincome township in South Africa and Pearson’s chi-square test was used to analyse the data. The results from both the qualitative and quantitative analysis confirmed that this low-income community has relatively low levels of life satisfaction, and participation in sport could lead to improved life satisfaction. The implication of the research is that policy makers should also look at subjective quality of life indicators when compiling and refining policies. Sport participation could be utilised to improve life satisfaction, community cohesion and quality of life.

Keywords: Sport, poverty, life satisfaction, Sicelo township, South Africa.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939