Bursary scheme to assist sport, fitness post-graduates

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pretoria - A bursary scheme worth R9.74 million was launched in Pretoria on Thursday to assist post-graduate students in the sport, recreation and fitness field study towards their PhD's or Master's Degrees.

The scheme - an initiative by Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) - will be offered to 30 post-graduate students per annum over a period of three years.

Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Gert Oosthuizen, said the offer to the potential students would include a bursary for a total 30 post-graduate students, comprising 10 PhD and 20 Masters Studies per annum for a period of three years.

He explained that the choice of this level of study was influenced by the fact that a situational analysis was conducted by SRSA in September 2012 to ascertain the number of registered Masters and Doctoral candidates currently at universities that offer sport as a learning area in 12 out of 17 universities.

"The findings are that there are only 267 post-graduate students in sports related studies at these 12 universities," said the deputy minister.

The programme is aimed at addressing the anomaly of skills shortages, inadequately qualified individuals, and unemployed graduates in the sport and recreation sector.

"The post-graduate development programme will assist our sport system to close existing gaps in information and research which can in turn empower our system to address skills development and contribute towards employment creation," he said at the launch.

The department will notify credible higher education institutions in South Africa that offer sport, recreation and fitness as a field of study, to identify prospective students to receive the bursary.

The potential participant and institution of higher learning involved in this programme should satisfy particular criteria as drafted by a joint steering committee from SRSA and CATHSSETA.

Examples of topics that will be considered by the steering committee include the impact of sport on social cohesion; the impact of sport on the improvement of the overall academic performance of learners; the correlation between winning athletes and a sustainable school sport programme and the position and role of women in sport and recreation.

"This programme will assist SRSA and the government ... in confronting the challenges of education, skills shortages, research and development as well as the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality," said Oosthuizen.

The programme has three key pillars, namely the applied research programme, the action research programme and the post-graduate development programme. - SAnews.gov.za