Sporting Chance has been at the forefront of health education for the past 20 years……we pioneered research into childhood obesity which has led to many health education policies being adopted and implemented throughout South Africa.
Over the years our health education (Health of the Nation) programme has evolved to incorporate South Africa’s ever changing health landscape.
Initially the programme was a research project, which aimed to create a nationally representative database against which to measure changing norms for physical activity and physical fitness in children, or as a means of “benchmarking” implementation of successful school and community-based intervention in the form of lifestyle physical activity, school sports, and physical education.
The concept evolved to test over seventy schools and 10 500 children from various cultural and historical backgrounds across 5 Provinces between 2001 – 2005. Test results were analysed by the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and it became obvious that South Africa is facing a huge problem with regards to getting the nation to keep active and participate in physical activity. A spin off of this research continues with the Sports Science Institute biannual release of the Healthy Active Kids Report Card.
With these results, Sporting Chance launched the Health of the Nation: 50 hour sports challenge with the objective of raising awareness of the importance of physical activity in a child’s life. In addition, it introduced thousands of children to the benefits of physical activity and exposes them to a variety of sport codes.
In 2016, we redirected our health education programme to work within schools focussing on two key areas:
- The importance of being physically active
- We partnered with Disney Africa and Ascendis Health to bring the Disney Healthy Happy Play and Ascendis Health of the Nation programme to life.
Annually the programme reaches 40 under resourced schools in 4 provinces of South Africa working with 22 500 learners. In an effort to empower more schools to embed physical education into their curriculums, the programme provides fun and creative tools for educators and learners using the Disney characters and stories as inspiration.
- Create a phased health promotion and educational programme focusing on the basis and importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle
- Offer interactive activities to encourage learning and make it more fun – and thus more effective
- Deliver quality education resources with an innovative approach to delivering the curriculum
- Up skill educators with education resources and material
- Empower schools with sport equipment and accompanying manuals
- Provide ongoing guidance and mentorship to the programme schools
- Create a positive healthy learning experience that shows children the value of leading a healthy lifestyle in building a positive future