The effect of a sport development programme on sprinting and long-jump abilities in 10-15 Year Old Boys from disadvantaged communities in South Africa
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Sixty-two (N=62) boys between the age of 10 and 15 years from two different farm schools in the Potchefstroom district were subjected to a Talent Search testing protocol. Potentially talented athletes (n=21), with a mean age of 12.0 ± 1.67 years, at one of the farm schools were randomly assigned to the experimental group. A control group was selected in the same way consisting of equally talented boys from the other farm school, with an average age of 12.1 ± 1.26 years. The talented children in both groups then underwent a specific test battery designed for sprinting and long jump. Maturity was determined by means of a maturity questionnaire. The development programme contributed statistically significant to the improvement in flexibility, muscle endurance, 0-40 meter speed and long-jump ability. Explosive power, reaction time, speed endurance, acceleration and stride length did not improve. The results revealed that a development programme of 10 weeks had a positive effect on the conditioning of motor and physical abilities and skills for sprinting and long-jump in talented 10 to 15 year old boys, regardless of poor socioeconomic circumstances and a restricted environment.