Sport participation of female university students

  • Sabelo A. Nxumalo
  • Robert Beetge
Keywords: Female students, Physical activity, Sport participation, University of Zululand


There are numerous benefits associated with regular participation in sport or exercise. South African women have the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa. Black females constitute the highest percentage of South Africa’s student population. University students exercise unhealthy lifestyle choices, including lack of physical activity. Reasons that lead to female students not participating in any form of physical activity or sport were investigated at the University of Zululand using a self-administered questionnaire. A non-random sample of 1004 of these students that did not participate in physical exercise or sport and 292 of those who did, were recruited from four faculties at the University. The main reasons for non-participation were: ‘no time’ (68%), transport problems (8%), club membership too expensive (6%) and poor facilities (5%). The main reasons given for participating were: ‘to be fit’ (81%), ‘to fight boredom’ (15%) and ‘to earn money’ (4%). The students indicated that safe access to sporting facilities and the poor state of university sporting facilities were deterrents to participation. The university management should address the constraints to promote greater participation.

Keywords: Female students; Physical activity; Sport participation; University of Zululand


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069