The study investigated how active recreation opportunities can be utilised to develop
adolescent‟s life skills in a lower socio-economic community. Adolescence is known
as one of the most difficult developmental periods in an individual‟s life and life skill
development is an important contributing factor in assisting an adolescent in this
difficult period. Adolescents in lower socio-economic communities are faced with
limited opportunities for the development of life skills that possibly contribute to the
use of drugs, alcohol, teenage pregnancies and other deviant behaviours. Active
recreation opportunities can provide an avenue by creating an environment in which
life skills can be learned practiced and later be transferred to life situations in which
life skills are required.
The aims of the study were:
To identify how active recreation can contribute to life skill development of
adolescents in lower social communities.
To explore how adolescents in Eersterust perceive current active recreation
opportunities in the community.
To investigate adolescents in the Eersterust community and their perception of
how life skills can be achieved through active recreation.
Grounded in the exploratory qualitative research design with a case study approach
framework, the research methods for the study included focus groups and
participation observation. Participant selection included voluntary high school
adolescents in the Eersterust community between the ages of 14 and 17. It was founded that recreation programs provided in the lower socio – economic
communities do not meet the needs of the adolescents and this leads to non
participation. Adolescents have indicated an understanding of the importance of life
skills and that through participating in active recreation activities they could obtain
For future studies the following recommendations are suggested:
The gender division should be considered and therefore it is recommended
that there must be an equal amount of each gender in a group or that the
groups consist of one gender only.
Recreation providers must include adolescents in the design of active
recreation programs as adolescents understand the importance of life skill
development and to insure that the time allocation of the activities
accompanies their schedule.
Adolescents need to become familiar with presenters of activities. It is
therefore recommended that test are done more than once to provide the
adolescents with the opportunity to become familiar with the activity
presenters and this provides the researcher with the opportunity to observe the
results not only on their first meeting but also later on.
Instructions must not be too difficult or take long periods to explain.
Participants tend to get irritated and their mind wonders. It is therefore
recommended that instructions are kept short and sweet
Barriers for example the maintenance of facilities, lack of equipment and
supervision should be taken into account when developing programs.