African Perspectives on Physical Education and Sports

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Otinwa, G.O.
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University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0245 USA
The practice of physical activities and sports before the advent of the colonials in the African continent were underpinned to the cultural fabric of her diverse ethnicities. These included traditional sports and games like wrestling contests, swimming, and boat racing in reverine areas, horse racing, dancing, and moonlight games. This study is a review of historical records that identified the role of colonization on physical education and sports (PES) and its future growth in Africa. Physical education started in schools during the arrival of colonial administrators and missionaries from Britain and America. Their efforts resulted in a few international sports competitions in East and West Africa; however, there were none in the Francophone Africa. The emancipation of African countries from colonial rule to independent status ushered in a change in the organization and the teaching of PES from primary to tertiary levels. This change did not impact the teaching of PES in a sustainable manner into the 21st century because of the Western model adopted in the African school curriculum. For PES to progress from its present status to the standard recommended by the UNESCO International Charter of PES, there must be an evolvement of an indigenous curriculum that will be nurtured in Africa to meet the health needs of her people
Colonial administrators , curriculum games , physical education , sports , traditional culture
Otinwa, G. O. (2012). African Perspectives on Physical Education and Sports. The Global Journal of Health and Physical Education Pedagogy. 1(1), 42 – 49.