ICSSD is Africa’s leading interdisciplinary centre promoting sport as a powerful tool for development, wellbeing and social change through high quality research and combining the areas of sports sciences, and community development and wellness.
ICSSD is regarded as a national and international leader in the field of sport and development and is renowned for its research concerning the case for sport research on socio-economic benefits as well as research on sport policies in 11 African countries. It gives input to the Commonwealth Sport and Development policies, as well as to MINEPS (World Sport Ministers Conferences).
The centre has spearheaded the biggest sport digitalisation research project in Africa in partnerships with DCAS and the Mayibuye Centre on sport and recreation activities on Robben Island Prison including the significance of sport activities by famous leaders such as Nelson Mandela during his time of imprisonment on Robben Island.
The centre is recognised for its postgraduate research and teaching and most recently established the flagship of the centre, namely the only postgraduate diploma for sport, development and peace globally, and the new online Master's in sport for development co-ordinated by the centre.
Locally, in the Western Cape Province, the centre is in partnership with the Western Cape Network for Community, Peace and Development as well as a partner to the Department for Cultural Affairs and Sport and the City of Cape Town and the Cape Higher Education Commission.
Nationally, the centre director has been appointed since 2012 to the National Ministerial Committee of Sport and Recreation and the Eminent Persons’ Group of the National Sport Minister. Added to this, it provides advice to the National Sports Department in various capacities. The Centre Director is also a member of the Education and Training Commission of the South African Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Sport Confederation
Continentally: the centre is a founding member of the International Scientific Network for Sport and Development and a strong research partner to various African universities and research institutes in the field of sport, development and peace.
On an international level, the Centre has agreements with African and European universities and is presented at the United Nations’ Working Group for Sport and Peace. The director also serves on the International Peace Research Commission (IPRA) and on the International Olympic Committee Education Commission.
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Since its launch in 2009, the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sport Science and Development (ICSSD) has had a significant impact on UWC students, communities, sports federations, NGOs locally as well as for provincial and local government. It has also made a mark, globally, with universities, public and private institutions, as well as international stakeholders such as the UN, ICSSPE, SDA, IOC and IOA and Sportaddev.
The ICSSD's vision, mission, objectives and values are as follows:
To be Africa’s leading interdisciplinary centre of excellence promoting sport as a powerful tool for development, health, wellbeing and social change through high quality research and combining the areas of sports and health sciences and community development and wellness.
To contribute to the understanding and advancement of sport as a tool for development in South Africa and Africa through high quality research, teaching, community engagement and new technologies and the application of sport science to advance the physical, social and economic development and wellbeing of South African and African communities.
Conduct productive research activities - establish multidisciplinary research and service programmes with regular research colloquia, international conferences, exchange and collaboration, and research output in the form of publications and conference presentations.
Teach and train the next generation of sport leaders - provide continuing education opportunities in the field of sport and health sciences, as well as community development and wellness in the form of postgraduate programmes, certificate courses and annual summer/winter schools for students, clubs, federations, teachers, NGOs, government departments, coaches and consultants as well as anyone else interested in the field.
Pursue community outreach - establish a multidisciplinary community service programme with a focus on youth development, health and wellness and professional development, technical assistance, coaching assistance, liaising with federations, sport clubs, schools and community organisations, and the provision of holistic community sport leaders programmes, internships and participatory research opportunities.
Research intensiveness, innovation and internationalisation, including interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research, local and global networks and partnerships.
Teaching, training and the 21st century graduate, including relevant online curricula, capacity building and mentorship in its postgraduate and CE programme, to promote graduate attributes and core competencies and academic excellence and transformation.
Community, partnerships and international engagement
Locating itself within the ethos of UWC, ICESSD is committed to:
seeking cross faculty and transformative approaches to sport and development
communal and social engagement, both internally (within the university) and externally (reaching out to other institutions and civil society);
locating itself within the African reality and acknowledging the lessons to be learned from the continent
promotion of socio-economic transformation and sustainable development;
upliftment and empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups;
accountability, transparency, inclusivity and participatory decision-making in all its practices;
academic rigour and excellence in teaching, research and direct community engagement;
respecting diversity, especially in terms of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion and culture;
a human-centred approach in research, teaching, training and outreach; and continuously striving for improvement.