n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - We know what makes us vulnerable : female learners, their health and its relationship to physical education and school sports : physical education and health

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


It has been widely illustrated that participation in physical activities can benefit young people. Furthermore, as an alternative form of leisure, physical education and school sports (PESS) may challenge less healthy options of entertainment for young people, thereby reducing their vulnerability to risk-taking behaviours. This study reports on the findings resulting from focus group discussions to explore the understandings that female learners have of the link between PESS and their own health. The method of data collection was focus group discussions. Participants comprised of 72 female learners aged 15-18 years from six different schools in the Western Cape Province which offered Physical Education and School Sport (PESS). From the findings, it is evident that female learners are of the opinion that they are most vulnerable to drug experimentation and excessive drug use. The acquisition of life skills was viewed as the most important reason for engaging in physical education, while school sport offered opportunities for interaction with others and dealing with problematic situations. Although it was acknowledged that female learners are vulnerable to health risk behaviours, PESS was not highly considered as a way of avoiding them. Unless one understands the particular relationships which female learners have with PESS and their own vulnerabilities to risk taking behaviours, PESS will fail to fully address the needs and interests of female learners in this regard.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error