DCAS study shows true impact of sport in the Western Cape
A long-term study has found that sport participation has the ability to improve socio-economic conditions in the Western Cape and currently makes a significant contribution to the province’s economy.
The study, named the Case for Sport, was undertaken by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in partnership with the University of the Western Cape’s Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sport Science and Development (ICCESSD).
On Friday the findings were presented to Minister Anroux Marais, HoD Brent Walters and a host of stakeholders, following the conclusion of the second phase of research.
Minister Marais said the study would inform future policy decisions and that she hoped it could also impact provincial budget allocations.
“The evidence-based research now makes it possible to make informed decisions at an executive level and will certainly assist us in reviewing current policy to be redeveloped with maximum citizen impact in mind,” Minister Marais said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that those seasoned in the DCAS portfolio can agree that there exists a disconnect between the positive impact of sport and the budget often allocated to its programmes. This comprehensive research now physically motivates for increased support, not only for sport and recreation but cultural affairs as well.”
The first phase of research for the Case for Sport study began in 2012 and since then data and information has been drawn from a range of sources.
On Friday Professor Christo de Coning, senior researcher at the ICCESSD, announced that research had shown that sport has contributed in excess of 2.2% of the Western Cape Gross Domestic Product (R8.8 billion) since 2012.
According to the findings, the sport sector also supports 60 000 jobs in the province and has the potential to increase economic growth and tourism.
The study also looked at the social impact of sport in the province. Mr Walters said the findings could ensure “that there will always be support from government and the private sector for this area of human endeavour”.
“We see the role of sport and recreation as far greater than us just sending teams to compete. We see it as something to keep our young people off the streets, to keep them gainfully occupied, to give them hope where there is no hope and to make sure that they have role models to look up to,” he said.
“It is very important for sport and recreation to remind itself that although it has to create winning teams, it also has to create an active nation where people are participating for the sake of participating. You have to encourage young people to dream that they can be Olympic champions, even though you know there can be only one Olympic champion and their odds of becoming an Olympic champion is actually very small. In the process of trying they actually grow up to become responsible citizens.”
DCAS works to create an active, responsible and socially cohesive population by providing sport and recreation opportunities to communities across the Western Cape. BETTER TOGETHER.