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Australian Sports Commission Helping Improve sports participation in African communities

2010-01-27

Local communities in Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa are using a new sport development impact assessment approach to increase the positive impact of their local sporting clubs.

Central to the approach is the training program for the Sport-in-development Impact Assessment Tool, developed in 2006 by the University of Johannesburg, which helps communities assess the effectiveness and impact of sport and physical activity programs.

The tool was supplied as part of the Active Community Clubs (ACC) initiative, an Australian Government program dedicated to improving and increasing participation in organised sport and physical activity.

South African sport development officer Zoe Tom said the impact assessment tool is helping the ACC clubs to monitor and evaluate key factors underlining the growth, viability and effectiveness of ACC programs in the community. The information gained is being used to improve the delivery of existing programs and to create new ones to better meet the needs of the community.

Imvomvo sport development manager Thoko Mlonyeni also praised the monitoring and evaluation process, which has led to the development of several new sport participation initiatives, including programs for young children and senior citizens. Participants in these programs are also benefitting from training and development as coaches, officials and volunteers.

The ACC program was established in 2001 to provide a diverse range of sports participation programs for African communities, including training and development in volunteering, sports administration, life skills and HIV/AIDS awareness. It is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and is managed and delivered by the Australian Sports Commission in partnership with local organisations in Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa.

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