South Africa: Sport's a Ball for Rural Kids, but Lack of Facilities Handicaps Development


When something is easily accessible one tends to take it for granted. However, even in a heavily urbanised province such as Gauteng, there are many areas where proper sporting infrastructure in schools -- something as simple as a football pitch -- are like water in the desert.

In urban areas, the privilege of having schools in close proximity to one another and the opportunity for inter-school sports competition that this brings is often taken for granted. But for learners whose schools are in the rural pockets of an urbanised province like Gauteng, it can be lonely.

Because of the isolated locations in which they find themselves, it is difficult for these learners to participate in regional leagues for the sporting codes they have at their schools.

Players from Tikelo Primary Farm School watch from the bench as their teammates play a football match at the Gauteng Farm and Rural Schools Sport Festival at Vaal University of Technology, Sedibeng on 11 October 2019. (Photo: Yanga Sibembe)

Those inter-school athletics tournaments which are as normal as the sun rising in most districts? Not possible for farm and rural schools. A lack of infrastructure, long distances between schools and high transport costs makes...

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