n Africa Education Review - Sport for all in postcolony : is there a place for indigenous games in physical education curriculum and research in Africa?

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1814-6627



The sport-for-all movement currently evident in many countries of the world is often touted as a self-evidently desirable means of achieving physical fitness on a global scale. But is sport truly a veritable route to collective wellbeing or some fantastic aggrandisement of a Western canon? This article challenges the cherished myth that sport is essentially meant for all regardless of context. The discursive background of sport for all was viewed through the lens of political economic relations and the dominant discourse of recreation and leisure. To be sure, sport for all has the ring of commonsense viewed from the North, yet it has a different resonance when examined from the South: it is a big, staggering plot to repress and diminish the cultural significance of the indigenous games of Third World people. This article takes stock of the lessons from the Dar es Salaam Sport for All project and stresses the need for African countries to resist any homogenising sport discourses premised against the reclamation of discursively constituted local games and indigenous physical education pedagogy. It argues that precolonial African games need not be uprooted from the physical education curriculum for colonial sports to roost, as these games have locus standi where Western sports stand. It suggests the need for deconstructive discourses that are conducive to the renovation and institution of indigenous African games as a step towards maintaining cultural distinctiveness and deconstructing totalising images of physical education curriculum content.

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