In the Olympic year 2016, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Sports Science and Development (ICESSD) has attained Olympic heights with the graduation of 4 Ph.D. students and 17 students receiving the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Development .
“This has been an exceptional group of students” says Professor Marion Keim, Director of ICESSD, ”not only are they all deeply committed to sport and development, but they have collectively inculcated the Olympic Values of Excellence, Respect, Friendship and Fair play in how they relate to each other as a team and throughout all their work. It has been an honour and a pleasure to have worked with each one of them.“
In the postgraduate group, 66-year-old Isaac Adom-Aboagye was graduating with his son Kwadwo. Both had been inspired by their sister Nana who did her MA through ICESSD the previous year.
Another Postgrad diploma student, Jakobo Jacob Moroe who is continuing with his Ph.D. at ICESSD in 2016 and has been selected to attend for the United Nations’ Sport and Development Programme for young leaders in Florida in June this year.
Included in the postgrad group were like last year again two graduate students who went through the RPL programme taking into account their many years of experience working in the field. “These are individual stories which are amazing and reflect the belief in sport as a vehicle for change and the commitment of individuals and families to use the power of sport and its values to positively impact on their communities and the next generation of sport leaders”, says Prof Christo de Coning who graduated 2 PhDs on Friday and who has been teaching on the Diploma since its inception.
Amongst the 4 Ph.D. students who graduated from ICESSD this year are Tarminder Kaur who researched on Sporting Lives and Development Agendas in the context of farm workers of the Western Cape, Solomon Asihel who conducted with his PhD an Evaluation of Mechanisms on the Role of Sport in the Process of Reconciliation in the Post-apartheid South African Context, Adv. Lyndon Bouah who analysed the implementation of the National Sport and Recreation Plan in the Western Cape and Nelisiwe Maleka who did her Ph.D. on Monitoring and Evaluation of Sport-Based HIV/AIDS Awareness Programmes of selected Non-Governmental Organisations in South Africa.
The Diploma which has run the third year in a row with great success is a stepping stone to the upcoming MA in Sport for Development which will be offered from January 2017 as a structured interdisciplinary Masters coordinated by ICESSD.
At a moment when South Africa is struggling more than ever with its post-apartheid social contract ICESSD remains passionately committed to supporting leaders in sport to deepen their understanding of development and social change issues and the leadership role they can play towards building a better society.