The multi-faceted development of the athlete-student in the South African context

  • Cora Burnett


The aim of this paper is to explore the social worlds of African athletes who participated at the 7th All Africa Games in Johannesburg, South Africa. By reporting and interpreting data collected from 410 athletes from 22 African counties, of whom 343 completed questionnaires and 67 were interviewed, insight is created into their lived realities and the context of elite sport. Structured interviews were conducted with eight leaders of delegations (chef de mission), 11 managers and 17 coaches. The political aspects in terms of nationhood and the commercial-media axis of professional sport presented the context for the socialization process of athletes. The life and competitive realities, socio-political and economic forces that impact on the lives of African athletes pose unique challenges for all stakeholders to facilitate the multi-faceted development of athletes to equip for international sport competitions and for an occupation once their playing days are over.

(Af. J. for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 9 (1): 1-19)

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eISSN: 1117-4315