Rwanda Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences

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The Role of the Sports Policy in Promoting Sport for Health in Rwanda

Lela Mukaruzima, Jose M. Frantz


Introduction: Physical inactivity is one of the major risk factors of non-communicable diseases that is a threat to public health. While the health benefits of being physically active are well acknowledged, policy strategies to promote health enhancing physical activity are still a challenge especially in Rwanda. This paper aimed to determine how the Rwanda sports policy influences promotion of sport for health.
Methods: A qualitative exploratory case study was used to explore the Rwanda sports policy with particular interest on its responsiveness to promoting sport for health. A desktop policy review was done using two policy process models, followed by semi structured in-depth interviews with 13 key stakeholders of the sports policy.
Results: The Rwanda sport policy as well as its stakeholders acknowledge the health benefits that are linked to sports participation. However, the policy lacks specific goals for promoting sport for health, as it largely focuses on professional sports.
Conclusion: There is a divergence between policy and practice as well as stakeholder’s commitment with regard to the Rwanda sports policy in promoting sports for health. Thus, policy makers need to devise a strategic framework with specific objectives that emphasize promotion of physical activity/sports for health.
Key words: Sports policy, Physical activity, Health, Rwanda

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