n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The intersecting life worlds of Sport for development (SfD) coaches in the Kiambiu slum of Nairobi, Kenya

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Against the background of severe and chronic poverty, coaches within the NGO-sector negotiate their lives, contribute to 'development work', and demonstrate resilience within their own social worlds. Concepts from critical feminist theory and relative deprivation constituted the analytical lens for this paper. Two case studies of a female and male coach in a Nairobi slum (Kiambiu) provided explanatory data collected through 21 interviews and three focus groups in 2010 and 2011 (following a pre-post comparative research design). The main findings showed how individuals socially engineer their socio-economic vulnerabilities to ensure household resilience. Gender played a determining role in accessing resources (and work) in the wider community, whereas community work allowed for space to demonstrate limited agency. Socialisation through sport contributed to an enhanced positive outlook and an ethic of care underscored positive self-belief, ego-orientation, and social identity construction as a change-maker in the community.

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