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6 March 2019
UWC launches the first MA in Sport for Development

(Published - 6 March 2019)

In time for the 10th anniversary of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development (ICESSD) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has launched an international Master’s Degree in Sport for Development.

The MPhil Degree Programme is an interdisciplinary international initiative which comes a long way and was developed by an interdisciplinary team of UWC staff with colleagues from VLIR University in Belgium - in particular Professors Yves Vanden Auweele and Bart Vanreusel - with inputs from many international and national scholars from South African universities such as Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Fort Hare. Southern African universities in Mozambique, Namibia and Uganda, as well as European universities (Leuven in Belgium, Utrecht in the Netherlands, Loughborough and Stirling/U. Cologne in Germany) also took part in the initiative.

According to ICESSD Director, Professor Marion Keim, the MA in Sport for Development provides students with an interdisciplinary and cross cultural programme which fosters competence and develops critical skills to respond to complex global challenges using sport as a vehicle, while supporting the United Nations Sustainable Goals’ (SDGs) approach to the challenge of sustainable and inclusive development.

“The Degree is aimed at building both the leadership and interdisciplinary competencies needed to respond to the complexity of the challenges outlined in the SDGs, and the role sport can play to contribute to sustainable and inclusive development and the vision for a more equitable world,” Prof Keim explains.

Prof Keim says national and international experts – from both academia and practice – engage students on Sport and Development topics and enable them to design solutions within multidisciplinary teams. The first class of 19 international students, consisting of representatives from government, NGOs, municipality, academia and business from as far as Abu Dhabi, started on 4 February 2019. The lectures are presented by academic experts in the field, as well as representatives from the South African government, Sportanddev and Unicef.

Prof Keim noted: “The MA Programme equips and prepares students for their role as thought leaders in the sport and development field and as change agents for their present and future engagement with civil society, government and academia, media and business and global sport stakeholders. It covers the latest trends and research of sport, and sport for development frameworks and policy, and critically evaluates the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of sport for development programmes based on theoretical and practical approaches of the global North and global South.”

Recent trends in sport for development and peace, together with the policy and strategy relevance of international policy and strategic frameworks, are critically evaluated in the programme.

The ICESSD was launched in 2009 with VLIR support, and was endorsed by the United Nations. Over the years, it has been a collaborator on many national and international research projects and teaching programmes, and a host to many international lecturers, PhD and MA students, and Postdocs. The centre has spearheaded research in Europe, the Caribbean, and in in 11 African countries, working with various partners.

Besides the launch of the MA programme, ICESSD will host a symposium in September 2019 to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with its many local and international partners in the sport and development field.

For more information on the MA in Sport for Development, please contact the Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. bmanxiwa or mkeim,

Ph: +27 21 959 3859 or +27 82 202 3454