Recreation managers’ perceived benefits and barriers of leisure service delivery in the North West Province of South Africa
It is important for administrators of leisure and recreation service delivery organisations to recognise new trends and adapt leisure activities, facilities, and services to changing societal needs in order to meet the interests, needs and values of local communities. This study examined recreation managers’ perceived benefits of leisure and recreation activities in building healthy communities within local governments. A mixed-methods research design that included a validated questionnaire and focus group interviews were used to collect data from 20 recreation managers in North West Province, South Africa. Quantitative data were analysed using frequencies and phi coefficients, while qualitative information was thematically analysed. The results showed that the majority (75%) of the local governments are in rural settings, whilst 25% are located in urban areas with limited resources. Most of the participants (70%) indicated that recreation plays an essential role in creating an all-round sense of well-being in people (rural areas: 66.7% and urban areas: 80%) and 75% responded that it could reduce anti-social behaviour (rural areas: 63.7% and urban areas: 100%). Both the participants and the recreation specialist identified coordination and networking as setbacks to recreation service delivery. Results also indicated that recreation programmes are not implemented by local governments due to various policy gaps and deficits as well as challenges related to human resources, funding and facilities. Also evident was the lack of skills and knowledge to implement valuable programmes that can satisfy the needs of local communities. It is recommended that all stakeholders responsible for recreation service delivery should work together to promote the well-being of the community.
Keywords: Recreation, benefits, service delivery, management, South Africa