Sport and recreation participation preferences in the Botswana Defence Force
Sport and recreation are used as vehicles to create military readiness. Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldiers are constantly deployed to border posts and other areas where their missions involve anti-poaching activities, disaster management and foreign peace-keeping. When not deployed, they reside with their families in military barracks where they participate in sport and recreation activities. Sport and recreation are pracitised in military settings in residential and occupational capacity. Literature suggests that participation in sport and recreation in military settings is mainly focused on promoting and maintaining military efficiency and morale. This study aimed at determining the preferences of sports and recreation activities of military staff. This study utilised a survey design using self-administered questionnaires to determine participation in and preferences of sport and recreation activities within the BDF. Using a convenient sampling technique and eight hundred and fifty seven (857) respondents participated in the study. The results of this study indicated that participants preferred individual as well as team sport and recreation activities. The five most preferred activities were soccer (47.1%), running (33.6%), shooting (29.7%), volleyball (24.6%) and obstacle training (21.2%). This study emphasizes that individual activities were preferred and a change in preferences regarding participation in team sport and recreation activities was observed. This information is valuable to the management of sport and recreation at the BDF regarding sports and recreation interests of the soldiers and their families.
Keywords: Military sport and recreation preferences, military sport and recreation patterns, military readiness, sport and recreation activities, Botswana Defence Force.
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