UWC starts with international MA in sport for development 
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The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has launched an international master's (MA) in sport for development, to build global capacity and leadership within the growing sector.

The launch coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development (ICESSD), building upon its existing Post-graduate Diploma in Sport for Development. The MA provides students with an interdisciplinary and cross cultural programme which fosters competencies and develops critical skills to respond to complex global challenges in using  sport as a vehicle for sustainable and inclusive development, including in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The MA programme is a truly interdisciplinary international initiative, and was developed with colleagues from the VLIR University Network in Belgium, in particular Professors Yves Vanden Auweele and Bart Vanreusel with inputs from many international and national colleagues from South African universities (Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Fort Hare), Southern African universities (Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda) and European universities (Leuven/Belgium, Utrecht/The Netherlands, Loughborough/UK and Stirling/U. Cologne/Germany) together with an interdisciplinary team of UWC staff.

National and international experts – from both academia and practice – engage students on topics related to sport, development and peace, and enable them to design solutions within multidisciplinary teams. The first class of 20 international students started on 4 February 2019, with representatives from government, NGOs, municipality, academia and business coming from as far afield as Abu Dhabi. In their first Module on Concepts and Trends in Sport for Development the students have been exposed to lectures presented by academic experts in the field, as well as representatives from the South African government, sportanddev and UNICEF.

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, research and policy frameworks, 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 .

UWC has always been known to be a forerunner in promoting sport for social change. It was UWC from which Nelson Mandela accepted his first honorary doctorate. Under the previous Chancellor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and in partnership the VLIR universities, UWC has been a thought leader in the field of building a better society using sport. ICESSD was launched in 2009 with VLIR support and endorsed by the United Nations. Over the years it has been a collaborator to many national and international research projects and teaching programmes, and a host to many international lecturers and post-graduate students. It has spearheaded research in Europe, Caribbean, and in 11 African countries working with a range of well-known partners.  

ICESSD will host a number of activities thought the year including a sport for development symposium on 16 September 2019, celebrating 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 @uwc.ac.za or [email protected], Ph: +27 21 959 3859 or  +27 82 202 3454.



Associate Professor