The socio-psychological effects of a “Football-For-Development Program” pertaining to adolescent girls in Namibia

A qualitative analysis derived from the “Galz & Goals Program” aimed at improving the life skills of the participating girls

Master's Thesis, 2015

157 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Content


List of Abbreviations

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction
1.1 Relevance and Research Problem
1.2 Purpose Statement and Research Questions
1.3 Theoretical Foundation and Structure

2 Theoretical Framework
2.1 Defining Personal Life Skills
2.2 Framework of Fostering Psychosocial Development
2.3 Model of Coaching Life Skills through Sport

3 Literature Review
3.1 Life Skills
3.2 Contextual Background
3.2.1 Football & Development State of Research of Football for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa The Relevance of Sport and Football in Namibia
3.2.2 Combating HIV/ AIDS & Development Programs State of Research of HIV/ AIDS & Development Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa The Situation of HIV/ AIDS in Namibia
3.2.3 Gender Equality & Sport State of Research of Gender Equality & Sport in Sub-Saharan Africa The Role of Girls and Women in Namibia
3.3 The Galz & Goals Program

4 Theoretical Application

5 Methodology
5.1 Research Design
5.2 Sampling
5.3 Development of the Interview Guideline
5.4 Data Collection
5.4.1 Conduction of interviews
5.4.2 Transcription
5.5 Data Analysis
5.5.1 MAXQDA
5.5.2 Defining categories
5.5.3 Qualitative content analysis

6 Findings
6.1 Experiences & Attitudes
6.1.1 Experiences through football and Galz & Goals Positive experiences Negative experiences
6.1.2 Attitude toward football and Galz & Goals Positive attitude toward football Negative attitude toward football
6.1.3 Attitude toward life skills Positive attitude toward life skills Negative attitude toward life skills
6.2 Knowledge
6.2.1 Knowledge about life skills Existing knowledge about life skills No knowledge about life skills
6.2.2 Knowledge about health Existing knowledge about health No knowledge about health
6.3 Influences
6.3.1 Transfer of skills Transferred football skills Transferred life skills No transfer of life skills
6.3.2 Changes Significant changes No changes
6.4 External assets
6.4.1 Coach Strong coach relationship Weak coach relationship
6.4.2 Family Supportive family Not supportive family
6.4.3 Team members Team members as friends Criticism of team members

7 Discussion
7.1 Empirical Relevance
7.1.1 Experiences
7.1.2 Attitude
7.1.3 Knowledge
7.1.4 Transfer
7.1.5 Change
7.2 Theoretical Relevance

8 Conclusion and Implications
8.1 Summary
8.2 Implications and Recommendations
8.3 Limitations and Further Research



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D


The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a football program for adolescent girls with the aim of developing life skills. For this purpose, experiences made during the program, attitudes toward and knowledge about life skills and their transfer, as well as any impacts made on the girls' lives were explored. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with six young girls who were participating in the Galz & Goals program in Namibia. Data was transcribed verbatim and coded. A qualitative content analysis revealed four dimensions: experiences and attitudes, knowledge, influences, and external assets. The program was generally perceived positively and allowed an overall empowerment of the girls to be concluded. A positive youth development is promoted by learning healthy habits and becoming physically fit, as well as obtaining psychological attributes and learning specific skills. To a certain extent, developed life skills were transferred to other life domains. The participants indicated a development of life skills such as communication, teamwork, decision-making, emotion management, morality, self-confidence, self-belief, self-love, respect, goal setting, future focus, self-identity and a hard work ethic. Altogether, it can be said that Galz & Goals changed most of the girls’ lives by teaching them skills for life and health, keeping them away from bad influences or negative social environments, and even supporting some of their families and creating new opportunities for their children. To improve the effectiveness of the program, more emphasis should be assigned to direct teaching strategies for life skills. Furthermore, the coaches should be better trained about teaching life skills and parents should be involved more pro-actively. Finally, a safe environment within the program has to be ensured.

Das Ziel der Studie war es, die Effekte eines Fußballprogramms für jugendliche Mädchen zu untersuchen. Dieses Programm fördert die Entwicklung von Lebenskompetenzen. Neben den Veränderungen im Leben der Mädchen wurden ihre Erfahrungen mit dem Programm analysiert. Außerdem wurden ihre Einstellung zu, das Wissen über sowie der Transfer von Lebenskompetenzen erforscht. Persönliche Interviews mit sechs jungen Mädchen wurden durchgeführt, die am Galz & Goals Programm in Namibia teilnehmen. Die Daten wurden wörtlich transkribiert und kodiert. Eine qualitative Inhaltsanalyse ergab die vier Dimensionen: Erfahrungen und Einstellungen, Wissen, Einflüsse, und externe Anlagen. Das Programm wurde generell positiv wahrgenommen und lässt auf eine Stärkung der Mädchen schließen. Eine positive Jugendentwicklung wird durch das Lernen von gesundheitsfördernden Angewohnheiten, körperliche Fitness, psychologische Eigenschaften und spezifische Fähigkeiten gefördert. Teilweise wurden die Lebenskompetenzen auf andere Lebensbereiche übertragen. Die Teilnehmerinnen beschrieben eine positive Entwicklung solcher Eigenschaften wie Kommunikation, Teamwork, Entscheidungsfindung, Gefühlsmanagement, Moral, Selbstbewusstsein, Selbstglaube, Selbstliebe, Respekt, Zielsetzung, Zukunftsorientierung, Selbstidentität sowie Fleiß. Insgesamt lässt sich sagen, dass Galz & Goals das Leben der meisten Mädchen verändert hat, indem Lebenskompetenzen und Gesundheitswissen vermittelt wurden, die sie von schlechtem Einfluss oder sozialem Umfeld fernhält, sowie Familien unterstützt und neue Chancen für ihre Kinder schafft. Um das Programm zu verbessern, sollten die Lebenskompetenzen direkt unterrichtet werden. Weiterhin sollten die Trainer besser über Lebenskompetenzen geschult werden und die Eltern aktiv einbezogen werden. Letztendlich muss das Programm auch eine sichere Umgebung gewährleisten.

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Tables

Table 1. Interviewed participants.

Table 2. Preliminary dimensions and categories

Table 3. Revised dimensions and categories

Table 4. Description of the categories of the dimension experiences & attitudes.

Table 5. Description of the categories of the dimension knowledge.

Table 6. Description of the categories of the dimension influences.

Table 7. Description of the categories of the dimension external assets.

Table 8. Overview about research questions and key findings.

Table 9. Resulted outcomes based on Gould & Carson’s model.

Table 10. Resulted life skills based on Danish’s categorization.

List of Figures

Figure 1. Components of the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework

Figure 2. Heuristic model of coaching life skills through sport

Figure 3. Heuristic model of learning life skills through Galz & Goals

Figure 4. Research Process

Figure 5. Process of the structured qualitative content analysis

1 Introduction

“Education plays a vital role in a young person’s life. Sport is ‘the best school of life’, teaching basic values and life skills that are important for the holistic and well-balanced development of younger generations. Honesty, fair play, self-confidence, mutual respect, adherence to rules and how to cope with victories as well as defeats are all examples of the values connected to the immense resource that is sport.” Adolf Ogi, 2006

1.1 Relevance and Research Problem

For a long time sport has been recognized as a powerful medium for many social dimensions. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Adolf Ogi as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace in 2001 (Ogi, 2006a). Concurrently, the UN Office for Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) was created, which both demonstrate the importance of sport in society and is an official recognition for the field of sport in development (Schulenkorf & Adair, 2014). Two years later, the UN has acknowledged sport as “a human right and an ideal learning ground for life’s essential skills” (UNOSDP, SADC, & Swiss Federal Office of Sport, 2003, p. 1) through its Magglingen declaration. Among other things, it is recommended to combine sport with the fields of health, gender equity and education to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) “by implementing sports-related development and peace promotion projects” (Ogi, 2006b, p. 2). Furthermore, the General Assembly of the UN adopted several resolutions under the title Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace (UN, 2004). In the course of this, resolution 58/5 announced 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE) to “focus the world’s attention on the importance of sport in society” (UN, 2004) and to encourage governments and sport-related organizations to implement sport-based development projects. The World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO) are also supporters of sport in the context of socio-economic development (di Cola, 2006; WHO, 2010).

In recent years, many sport-for-development programs and projects have evolved worldwide. Some development initiatives focus on general physical education (e.g. Jambo Bukoba in Tanzania), others concentrate on special sports (e.g. Goal uses only football). There are programs and projects which operate in several countries (e.g. Right to Play) or just regional in a single country (e.g. Colombianatos in Columbia). Furthermore, programs differ in their partnerships, either being only supported by local institutions (e.g. Moving the Goalposts in Kenya) or working in cooperation with foreign governments or organizations (e.g. Youth Development Through Football/ YDF). According to Williams and Chawansky (2013), more and more girl-centered programs are arising in order to support especially the social development of girls and young women as purported with Galz & Goals.

The study’s case is the Galz & Goals (G&G) program in Namibia, coordinated by the Namibia Football Association (NFA). It is a football program of the NFA’s Women’s Desk to strengthen women’s and girls’ football, and to implement HIV prevention and life skills education (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, 2014). The program aims to increase the access to football for women and girls, to enlighten about HIV and to foster life skills, thus empowering gender equality. Since 1994, three world conferences on women and sport have taken place and an International Working Group on Women and Sport was founded (Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (DEZA), 2005). Their results are stated in the Brighton Declaration and the Windhoek Call for Action, aiming for, among other things, an increased participation of women in sport, and using sport as a tool for promoting health and education (Ibid.). The Galz & Goals program brings gender equality, health promotion and life skills education with sport together, as wished for at those conferences.

The field of sports-related development uses several terms like „sport-for-development“ (e.g. Schulenkorf & Adair, 2014), „development through sport“ (e.g. Skinner, Zakus, & Cowell, 2008) or „sport-in-development“ (e.g. Coalter, 2006a). This research study does not concentrate on one term in particular because all are employed in the same field of research and are often mixed. According to Coalter (2006a), sport-in-development programs can be additionally distinguished into plus sport and sport plus referring to their major aims. The plus sport approach uses “sport’s ability to bring together [many] people to achieve the aims of social and health program […]” (Ibid., p. 2) and non-sporting outcomes are more important. The sport plus approach, however, aims to “develop sustainable sporting organisations” (Ibid.) to achieve broad sport participation and sporting skills, and also to address social issues like health prevention, empowerment of women and girls or life skills development. Galz & Goals follows the sport plus approach and uses football as a tool for social and behavior change.

Each development program or project should consider whether they are working effectively or not and whether changes are produced. It is important to know about the effects to evaluate whether desired objectives are reached, to improve the program as well as to have scientifically underpinned reasons for partners and sponsors. Therefore, people and processes need to be tracked by an appropriate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework. Academic assessment has been supportive for many development projects to evaluate their impact with M&E systems (e.g. Baker, 2000; Coalter, 2006b; Shah, Kambou, Goparaju, Adams, & Matarazzo, 2006). Most academic measurements and evaluations about sport-in-development programs have been used a quantitative approach for several reasons (like Baker, 2000; Coalter, 2006b, Shah et al., 2006). G&G also has a M&E system with quantitative indicators and measurements to analyze the program’s effectiveness. To acquire more detailed and richer data, qualitative insight is vital for reliable and valid results in terms of certain aspects and perspectives. Kay (2009) also strongly recommends in her research paper the qualitative approach in sport-in-development research. As a result of the aforementioned, the research problem is mainly the lack of a qualitative outcome evaluation of a sport-in-development program like the NFA’s Galz & Goals. One of the program’s defined objectives is the education in life skills. The psychosocial components in terms of life skills play an important role on participants in such a program. Therefore, the research is focused on the life skills development of the girls who participate in G&G.

1.2 Purpose Statement and Research Questions

This study aims to examine the effects of participating in a football program on the adolescent girls’ life skills. The researcher is looking onto the case of Galz & Goals. By applying a qualitative study design composing of semi-structured interviews, an enhancement of the current M&E system of G&G with regard to developing a qualitative outcome evaluation is provided. The results are important for the organizations who are involved with G&G, but also for academic research by filling a gap (Goudas, 2010; Gould & Carson, 2008a; Williams & Chawansky, 2013). So far, only limited research exists which investigates the personal life skills development based on a football-for-development initiative in Africa.

Therefore, the general goal of this thesis is to explore the effect the Galz & Goals life skills program has on the positive youth development of the young girls. An effect is defined as a “change that results when something is done or happens […] or is a particular feeling or mood created by something” (Merriam-Webster, 2015). To acquire a greater knowledge of how and if the life skills as taught by Galz & Goals are working and are effective from a participants’ viewpoint, the following questions have to be answered:

RQ1: What have the girls experienced from playing football?

RQ2: How is the attitude towards the taught life skills?

RQ3: What do the young girls know about life skills?

RQ4: How do the young girls apply or transfer the taught life skills in daily lives?

RQ5: What were significant changes in the girls’ lives caused by the football program?

Hence, the study would fill a gap in existing literature through testing the effectiveness of a football-for-development program in Namibia according to its life skills education.

1.3 Theoretical Foundation and Structure

The present work integrates aspects of sports science, sociology and psychology. It focuses on socio-psychological effects as a result of participating on a football program in the field of sport for development/ development through sport. Thus, the sporting activity is linked to personal and community development. Particularly the life skills education in terms of personal youth development of adolescent girls is studied. The life skills and personal youth development research are used as theoretical foundations. The Framework of Fostering Psychosocial Development as well as the Model of Coaching Life Skills through Sport delineate different factors that can influence the development of life skills and categorize possible outcomes.

The context of Namibia is used because their well supported girls’ football league system run by the Namibian football governing body is quite unique in sub-Saharan Africa. The state of research about football, HIV/ AIDS and gender equity in Namibia supports proper background knowledge to classify the challenges and opportunities of Galz & Goals.

The thesis is structured as follows: The next section contains the theoretical framework, which introduces life skills as a scientific approach, and indicates from what disciplines the used theories are derived. This is followed by a review of literature to point out some important key terms and the state of the art of life-skills education as well as the contextual background of football for development, HIV/ AIDS as well as gender equity and sport in sub-Saharan Africa and in Namibia. Afterwards, the theoretical application based on the theoretical framework is explained. The subsequent section introduces the methodological approach which is to be used, including the design, sampling, development of the interview guidelines, data collection, and the analysis of the research. Then, the findings are unveiled and discussed. Finally, the empirical and theoretical relevance are discussed and implications, recommendations, limitations and further research suggestions are concluded.

2 Theoretical Framework

It is vital to provide a theoretical underpinning in terms of explaining and defining the term life skills because it is considered to be the foundation of this work. Moreover, the two utilized theoretical foundations are introduced, wherein the development of life skills and factors that may influence the development, using sport as a context, are conceptualized. Studies about life-skills education can be found in various research disciplines. Most researches are developed from sport sociology, psychology and health education literature

2.1 Defining Personal Life Skills

There is a relationship between the skill of sport performance and personal excellence in life. Life skills can enhance both sport and personal performance (Forneris, Conley, Danish, & Stoller, 2014). However, sport does not per se teach life skills, but the experiences gained through sport have durable value (Camiré, Trudel, & Bernard, 2013; Gould & Carson, 2008a; Gould, Chung, Smith, & White, 2006). Adolescents may foster their identity, discover skills and interests or learn valuable principles and transfer them to other settings. These transferable abilities learned through sport participation are called life skills (Danish, 1995). The concept of life skills represents the theoretical framework of this study.

First, life skills are defined according to the purpose of this study. Many descriptions and interpretations exist in research and life skills programs, and it is essential to define them properly. Nevertheless, not only one definition is introduced, but rather the most important definitions for this research. Danish, the pioneer in academic research of life skills development in young people in a sport context, and his colleagues, have described them as follows:

“[Life skills are] those skills that enable individuals to succeed in the different environments in which they live, such as school, home and in their neighborhoods and with their peer groups.” (Danish, Forneris, Hodge, & Heke, 2004, p. 40)

Danish (2004) further integrates life skills under the umbrella term of positive youth development, which should enable adolescents among other things to build better confidence in future. Therefore, the concept of positive youth development encompasses the development of life skills. He also emphasizes that such psychosocial benefits are not transmitted through mere participation in sport. Sport participation can facilitate positive youth development such as developing life skills, but it also depends on factors like individual’s experience, structure and context of the activity (Ibid.).

According to Gould and Carson, all life skills also focus on positive youth development and are more precisely defined as “those internal personal assets, characteristics and skills such as goal setting, emotional control, self-esteem, and hard work ethic that can be facilitated or developed in sport and are transferred for use in non-sport settings” (2008a, p. 60). This definition represents in a clearer way the learning of skills in sport and its importance for a transfer to other life situations. Moreover, the process of learning physical skills and life skills is similar because they both are taught through demonstration, modeling and practice (Danish et al., 2004; Goudas, 2010).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines life skills in relation to health education from an intergovernmental perspective, which is similar to academic definitions:

“Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life […]. In particular, life skills are a group of psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills […].” (WHO, 2003, p. 3)

Moreover, the WHO (2003) names numerous examples of skills, for example listening, analysis or self-awareness skills. All life skills are summarized into the following three categories: communication and interpersonal skills; decision-making and critical thinking skills; and coping and self-management skills.

Danish introduced another and very popular categorization of life skills (Danish, Petitpas, & Hale, 1993). He identified behavioral (communicating effectively with peers and adults), cognitive (making effective decisions), interpersonal (being assertive) and intrapersonal (setting goals) life skills (Ibid.). This categorization is broadly used in life skills literature (e.g. Camiré, Trudel, & Bernard, 2013; Goudas, 2010; Gould & Carson, 2008a; Papacharisis, Goudas, Danish, & Theodorakis, 2005) and will be used in this study.

The Sport 2 Life (S2L) manual, developed by UNICEF Namibia (2013) is supposed to be used by the coaches of Galz & Goals. Therefore, this manual represents a theoretical basis of the G&G program and aims with teaching life skills within the medium of sport to develop so called high impact attributes to „help young people mak[ing] healthy lifestyle choices on a regular basis“ (UNICEF Namibia, 2013, p. 5). The used framework as well as the high impact attributes of the S2L manual will be introduced in chapter 4, Theoretical Application.

What all definitions have in common is that life skills are described as a set of several psychosocial skills on various levels to cope with daily life in different environments. Due to the huge amount of possible life skills, only examples of life skills are used in this study and cannot include all possible life skills.

Life skills development is not a simple process; it is quite complex and influenced by many factors. The following two chapters 2.2 and 2.3 try to conceptualize the process of life skills development learned through sport.

2.2 Framework of Fostering Psychosocial Development

The theoretically based framework, developed by Petitpas and his colleagues, has already been employed in some sport and life skills studies (e.g. Camiré et al., 2013). The framework for youth sport programs that foster psychosocial development gives a theoretical foundation for planning such sport programs by examining the most important factors for a positive youth development through sport participation (Petitpas, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Jones, 2005). The use of the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework can help to understand the Galz & Goals program’s strength and challenges. Petitpas et al. studied several youth sport programs and classified them with respect to their focus and strategies into four categories: sport-based interventions, sport skills development, sport as prevention, and life skills development. All of them promote psychosocial development like teaching life skills by using sport. The framework itself is based on the following four factors contributing to adolescents’ positive psychosocial growth and life skills development (see figure 1): context, external assets, internal assets, research and evaluation.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1. Components of the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework (own illustration).

One main component for an effective youth sport program is the context which stands for being “engaged in a desired activity within an appropriate environment” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 66). Young people are often bored by compulsory events. If a program planner creates an environment or context where adolescents take part of their own free choice, they can develop a sense of initiative. Therefore, it is crucial that the taking part in activities is intrinsically motivated. Moreover, people at a young age have a need to belong to a group in order to find a valued role. It provides them with a status based on peer acceptance and also a sense of identity. Also, athletic achievement is mostly more highly valued among adolescents than academic achievement (Weiss, 1995). Another criterion for an appropriate context is to create a voluntary activity which contains clear rules, goals, and incentives. Furthermore, through “emphasiz[ing| fun and provid[ing] opportunities for individual mastery” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 68) a psychologically safe environment can be provided and young people will probably try to reach the limits of his or her capabilities.

External assets, in the sense of “being surrounded by caring adult mentors and a positive group or community” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 66) are the second pillar of a positive psychosocial development through youth sport programs. According to Petitpas et al. (2005), external supports and caring community systems are fundamental for positive development. Caring adult mentors can have a big influence on youth’s psychosocial development if they maintain regular involvement over a long period of time and provide a close relationship. Therefore, teachers and coaches have a very strong nonparental influence on youth due to their longtime involvement. The “quality of the relationships, behaviors, and expectations of adults and mentors” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 69) is hereby essential for a positive outcome. Parents and guardians are further supporting components of external assets. If they show interest in their children’s activities or even become involved, the chance of influencing their children’s behaviors and attitudes increases. Furthermore, a supportive community is an important external asset as well. Young people want “to try out their skills in different settings” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 70). If adolescents also get the opportunity to teach younger people, research showed that this increases their self-confidence and career self-efficacy (Danish, Nellen, & Owens, 1996). Consequently, to provide community service activities by offering leadership roles for youth with younger ones enforces their sense of belonging to the community.

Another core element in the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework is the internal assets. Most youth development programs focus on internal assets, which means to “learn or acquire skills […] that are important for managing life situations” (Petitpas et al., 2005, pp. 66f), thus life skills. To internalize new skills and behaviors, like social, planning, and problem-solving competencies, it needs time and practice, wherefore youth sport programs should teach the transferability or applicability to non-sport life situations. Beside life skills, a “clear and positive sense of personal identity” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 70) as well as the belonging to a subgroup are part of internal assets. Because life skills are not transferable automatically, youth sport programs should convince the adolescents to apply the learned skills outside the sport setting or even provide an environment to transfer those skills in different situations. Thereby, the participants gain confidence and it is more likely that they transfer the taught skills or internal assets in different life situations.

The research and evaluation area of a youth sport program is essential to “benefit from the findings of a comprehensive system of evaluation and research” (Petitpas et al., 2005, p. 67). Like any other development program they need to assess and compare whether their interventions are efficient. Hereby, evaluations need to be multidimensional and well planned to capture changes in positive attitudes and behaviors or reductions in problem behaviors. According to Petitpas et al., case studies are feasible research designs for evaluating such programs. Furthermore, longitudinal evaluations are needed to receive adequate knowledge and findings. Also, analyses of the implementation quality help to achieve the program’s goal to foster psychosocial development.

All examined factors are the basis, so that positive youth development is more likely to occur, being involved in a sport-based activity following the Petitpas et al. framework.

Camiré et al. (2013) used this framework to discuss the effectiveness of a youth sport program which teaches life skills and values. They adopted the framework and analyzed the three components context, external assets and internal assets in terms of strengths and challenges.

2.3 Model of Coaching Life Skills through Sport

A further model, which is similar but more complex, is the model of coaching life skills through sport, developed by Gould & Carson (2008a). It starts with internal and external assets (see figure 2, p. 12), which build the pre-existing state of a young athlete. The internal assets, like life skills, physical abilities and personality characteristics, are already developed. The external assets include parents, siblings, previous coaches and peers, as well as environmental factors like socioeconomic status. The authors emphasize that every young participant starts an activity with internal and external assets which are given or were developed beforehand. The range and quality of those assets influence the development on teaching further life skills within sport participation.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2. Heuristic model of coaching life skills through sport (Gould & Carson, 2008a, p. 66).

As well as those assets, the sport participation experience itself, learning explanations, outcomes and the transferability to other life settings are also included.

The sport participation experience is primarily shaped through the coach’s characteristics, and his or her direct and indirect teaching strategies (Gould & Carson, 2008a). The focus of this component is on the teaching and coaching of life skills. The motivation, attitude, behavior and even philosophy of a coach are high influencing factors on how well life skills are developed in a young athlete. The ability to build relationships to the young people as well as the competence and accessibility of a coach are further important factors for the life skills development. This is summarized as the current coach characteristics. Another area within sport participation experience is direct teaching strategies. This means to coach life skills intentionally by having clear and consistent rules or providing leadership opportunities and guiding the adolescents to transfer them into non-sport life situations. The third area includes indirect teaching strategies such as creating a sport environment and a successful program plus teaching people about life skills modeling who are involved in this program like other coaches or parents. Through this a social reinforcement and positive social norms are provided.

The next component consists of possible explanations for the life skills and personal development, which is divided into two sets. The first emphasizes the social environment, like the influence on positive identity changes, the extent of membership to a peer group and positive adult attachments as well as a needed sense of belonging to a team. The second focuses on the utility of life skills strategies in terms of using and generalizing developed life skills in sport to other life situations.

Subsequently, the development of life skills can lead to positive physical, intellectual, psychosocial and/ or emotional outcomes, like improved fitness, positive school achievements or better communication skills. However, negative ones can also result (e.g. maladaptive stress management strategies). The negative outcomes are also categorized in physical (e.g. injuries), intellectual (e.g. school drop outs) and psychosocial or emotional (e.g. burnout) results.

Finally, the transferability component suggests factors “that may influence whether and the degree to which life skills are transferred” (Gould & Carson, 2008a, p. 68) from sport to a non-sport context. Gould & Carson assume that life skills are not automatically transferred to non-sport settings and factors like the willingness, belief, awareness or ability of a young participant to transfer the taught life skills are relevant.

This model tries to explain the whole process of how life skills are coached through sport and acts as a circle through a feedback loop tied from outcomes to internal assets (Gould & Carson, 2008a). This implies that internal assets are manipulated by the outcomes afterwards. This model was used by Camiré, Trudel, & Forneris (2012) to explore high school coaches’ and student-athletes’ perspectives on coaching life skills. With the help of this model, the powerful role of a coach as well as the characteristics of a young athlete are demonstrated and provides explanations of the success of developing life skills through sport.

3 Literature Review

Having outlined what life skills are and which factors can contribute to the life skills development through sport, the following literature review is divided into three parts. The current state of the art in life skills research and the most important results are summarized. This study was investigated in Namibia, whereby the contextual background in three sub areas, which are important for the topic of this study, are described. First, the situation of football for development in sub-Saharan Africa and in Namibia is summarized. Then, the state of combating HIV/ AIDS and existing development programs in sub-Saharan Africa and in Namibia are outlined. Finally, the gender equity in sport in sub-Saharan Africa and in Namibia is summarized, because Galz & Goals only addresses girls. Last but not least, the Galz & Goals program itself is introduced.

3.1 Life Skills

The idea of teaching life skills has its roots in European and American psychology and UNICEF was one of the first who started teaching life skills as part of HIV/ AIDS education (Gould et al., 2006). The number of life skills programs using sport grows, e.g. GOAL, SUPER, Play It Smart, The First Tee and some receive scientific support (e.g. Danish, 2002; Papacharisis et al., 2005; Van Gorden, Cornelius, & Petitpas, 2010). Therefore, in recent years, studies about life skills for psychosocial competence and positive youth development in connection with physical education have been steadily growing. As already mentioned, most literature about life skills education is located in psychology and sociology science. In literature, the term life skills development is often associated with or used for positive youth development or social-emotional growth (Gould & Carson, 2008b). But positive youth development is a general expression and covers any desirable competencies or outcomes in adolescents (Ibid.). Social-emotional growth can belong to positive youth development as well as a part of life skills development. In turn, life skills development embodies a part of positive youth development. Therefore, it is important to define life skills as done in chapter 2.

Many studies researched in the context of life skills in non-sport settings, mainly for supporting a healthy lifestyle, especially drug abuse prevention and the combat of HIV/ AIDS (e.g. Botvin & Griffin, 2005; Mangrulkar, Whitman, & Posner, 2001; Maro & Roberts, 2012; Moshki, Hassanzade, & Teimouri, 2014; Young, Kelley, & Denny, 1997). Life skills training or education reduces health risk behavior like tobacco, alcohol, and drug use (Botvin & Griffin, 2005; Moshki et al., 2014). Other studies found an increase of health knowledge and awareness concerning HIV/ AIDS through life skills education (Forde, 2014; Hershow et al., 2015; Maro & Roberts, 2012). Further evaluations conducted by intergovernmental organizations found that life skills education programs result in more positive behaviors by young people in challenging the daily life (UNICEF, 2012; WHO, 2003). The life skills interventions delivered significant individual changes and knowledge, skills, and attitudes for health risk themes. The WHO (1997, 2003) also developed special frameworks and guidelines for life skills based programs for health education. Nevertheless, a gap between the designed standards and the implementation of them makes programs partly less effective (UNICEF, 2012). According to Boler & Aggleton (2005) many life skills interventions for HIV prevention neglect the local context, because the roots of teaching life skills are in the Global North and not well adopted to local circumstances in continents like Africa. In addition, a lack of definitions of life skills exists, which should be taught in a program.

Gould & Carson (2008a) as well as Forde (2014) claim that not enough life skills research focuses particularly on sport. On the other hand, more than a little research has been done about life skills combined with sport and physical education (e.g. Camiré et al., 2013; Goudas, 2010; Gould & Carson, 2008a). Furthermore, few life skills studies focus on health prevention, particularly HIV/ AIDS education, combined with sport (e.g. Forde, 2014; Maro & Roberts, 2012). Studies support the general assumption that sport participation enhances personal youth development (e.g. Danish, Petitpas, & Hale, 1992; Ewing, Gano-Overway, Branta, & Seefeldt, 2002; Gould & Carson, 2008b; Larson, 2000). Summarized by Goudas (2010), the potential of sport to teach life skills is based on the following: Sport skills as well as life skills need similar mental skills for a successful performance; many skills learned through sport participation can be transferred to non-sport settings; sport is a popular activity for young people; both groups of skills are learned in the same ways by demonstration, modeling and practice; and finally sport supports the self-esteem development of adolescents as well the setting and achievement of goals.

Goudas (2010) also classifies the life skills through sport research into three lines. “[I]dentification of athletes’ and students’ life skills needs” (Goudas, 2010, p. 241) presents one line of research (e.g. Jones & Lavallee, 2009). Interpersonal skills like social skills, respect, leadership, family interactions, and communication are described as needed (Ibid.). And also personal skills like self-organization, discipline, self-reliance, goal setting, managing performance outcomes, and motivation are further life skills that are identified as needed (Ibid.). Gould and Carson (2008a) suggest a “life skill set that includes time and stress management skills, character development and decision making skills, leadership skills, communication skills, links to positive adult and peer role models, and general confidence and efficacy” (p. 62).

A second line includes “factors contributing to life skills development” (Goudas, 2010, p. 241) like the work of Gould and his colleagues (e.g. Gould et al., 2006; Gould, Collins, Lauer, & Chung, 2007). Some studies which researched the factors of developing life skills (e.g. Camiré et al., 2012; Gould et al., 2006, 2007; Hellison, 2000) conclude that the philosophy and strategy of a coach as well as a strong relationship to the players are essential for a successful life skills development. In addition, environmental factors like safety or social belonging as well as individual assets like beliefs or attitudes of an athlete are strongly influencing factors.

The third research line focuses on the evaluation of life skills programs (e.g. Goudas, Dermitzaki, Leondari, & Danish, 2006; Hardcastle, Tye, Glassey, & Hagger, 2015; Papacharisis et al., 2005). Hereby, those programs can be distinguished into three categories (Goudas, 2010): Teaching life skills in classroom settings by using sport metaphors (e.g. the GOAL program); teaching life skills in youth sport settings in addition to sport skills (e.g. the SUPER program); and teaching life skills that is embedded within the sport practice. The literature about evaluations of life skills programs let conclude that sport-based programs can have an effect in teaching life skills (e.g. The First Tee, 2010; Van Gorden, Cornelius, & Petitpas, 2010; Waldron, 2009; Weiss, Stuntz, Bhalla, Bolter, & Price, 2013). Mentioned impacts of sport life skills programs are a greater knowledge of life skills, positive beliefs about problem solving, constructive thinking about goal setting, and a transfer of life skills outside of the sport setting (Papacharisis et al., 2005; Weiss et al., 2013). Nevertheless, more research about the transfer of life skills into non-sport settings is needed (Goudas, 2010). Furthermore, the life skills training in turn could have the potential to improve the sport skills as well (Papacharisis et al., 2005).

Life skills education studies have been investigated in several sports, like in golf (e.g. Brunelle et al., 2007; Weiss et al., 2013), volleyball (e.g. Papacharisis et al., 2005), floor hockey (e.g. Hassandra & Goudas, 2010) or ice hockey (e.g. Camiré et al., 2013). Moreover, several studies focused on football programs (e.g. Maro & Roberts, 2012; Papacharisis et al., 2005; Van Gorden et al., 2010). It can be concluded that the influence of life skills education is universal in a sport context, especially in team sports. However, just few research projects consider only girls in a sport-based life skills program, for example as investigated by Waldron (2009). Therefore, no general conclusion can be made for gender-based sport life skills programs like the Galz & Goals program.

Many theoretical explanations as to how life skills are learned in a sport setting are derived from social psychology theories like the Social Learning theory by Bandura, the Problem-Behavior theory by Jessor or the Social Influence theory by McGuire etc. (Mangrulkar et al., 2001). They explain more the psychological process of learning.

Gould and Carson (2008a) argue that the total research about life skills development through sport is still limited and more quantitative and qualitative research is needed. However, the existing analyses about the effectiveness of life skills sport-based programs are mostly built on quantitative research (e.g. Brunelle, Danish, & Forneris, 2007; Goudas et al., 2006; Goudas & Magotsiou, 2009; Papacharisis et al., 2005). Instruments used were different scales to measure the impact of the life skills education like the Social and Personal Responsibility Scale (Brunelle et al., 2007) or self-beliefs and knowledge tests (Goudas et al., 2006). However, those scales are very particular and not sufficient to evaluate a whole program, since they only cover single life skills. Only few qualitative studies have been recently done (e.g. Goudas & Giannoudis, 2010; Hardcastle et al., 2015; Weiss et al., 2013). Gould & Carson (2008a) recommend to use qualitative methods to track changes in youth leadership and development and emphasize the importance of qualitative research to receive a whole picture of the effectiveness of life skills education through sport. Goudas (2010) also demands further research “to establish the credibility of these programs, to identify their specific elements that contribute to their success or failure” (p. 255).

To sum up, it can be said that sport-based life skills programs have a positive impact on the participants’ life skills development, social skills are seen as the most needed ones in terms of life skills (Jones & Lavallee, 2009) and the cooperation between coaches and athletes, considering their characteristics, are important to be successful. Due to the lack of gender-based qualitative research about the effectiveness of sport-for-development programs teaching life skills, this study fills a gap by examining the effects of participating in a football program on the adolescent girls’ life skills.

3.2 Contextual Background

The context of the following research is located in the Republic of Namibia. The sub-Saharan country has a total population of around 2.1 million (Auswärtiges Amt, 2014) and is rated within the medium human development index (HDI)[1] (UNDP, 2014). Namibia’s HDI rank is on 127 out of 187 countries and is therefore better developed than most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ibid.). But Namibia’s wealth is still jeopardized by health problems like a very low life expectancy and a poor education system (Ibid., p. 162). After an eventful history, due to being colonized by the Germans and its taking-over by South Africa, Namibia was the last African country to receive its independence back on 21st of March 1990 (Dierks, 2014). The Namibian population consists of many different tribes with their own languages, as well as traditional norms and values. The majority of inhabitants in Namibia, especially in rural areas, still belong to one of these tribes.

In academic literature it is apparent that most research has been done in a western world context. Therefore, results from these sport-based life skills programs are probably not applicable to African sub-Saharan countries like Namibia due to cultural differences like self-identity and a person’s role in a community. Hence, three important subjects are examined in the following in the context of sub-Saharan Africa and Namibia: the football for development aspect, the HIV/ AIDS state, and the gender equity.

3.2.1 Football & Development

The following two subsections reveal the state of the art about development through football initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and the importance of football in Namibia. State of Research of Football for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Football is the most popular sport on the African continent and takes an important position in the development context (Tobisch & Preti, 2010). Due to the little infrastructure that is needed and its enormous popularity, football has the power to bring young African people together. However, Africa is more popular for its grassroots level instead of being successful in elite football (Armstrong & Giulianotti, 2004). Literature reveals that football has developmental power and is therefore a popular tool for many development projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Especially research in the field of personal development and HIV/ AIDS education through football confirms a positive impact (e.g. Šafaříková, 2012, 2013; Sugden, 2006; Tobisch & Preti, 2010). Hereby, the “competitive, participatory, team-based, and communicative aspects of the game” (Khan, 2010, p. 6) are used to deliver knowledge and develop a range of life skills.

The international football association FIFA is the main supporter for football development projects in Africa, whereas the Goa l program and the Football For Hope program are the most prominent ones (Akindes & Kirwin, 2012). The campaign 20 Centres for 2010 within the 2010 FIFA World Cup was launched in 2007 to build 20 community-based Football For Hope centers in sub-Saharan Africa to approach young people, combining football with health education (Geddes, 2010). FIFA moreover supports external football for development programs like Streetfootballworld or Grassroot Soccer. Another international football for development program is called Youth Development through Football (YDF), supported by the German government and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), which is established in ten sub-Saharan countries. Further examples of football-based development programs are Coaching for Hope, Play Soccer, and TackleAfrica, to name just a few. In Africa exist a plenty of football programs that combine youth or community development. All of them initiate community-based football projects and aim to drive social change and create a better future.

Nevertheless, only few football-based programs directly target girls and women, like Moving the Goalposts Kilifi in Kenya or Galz & Goals in Namibia.

Football is still generally considered to be a male-only sport and female participation is abnormal and mostly underfunded. For example, FIFA’s Financial Assistance Program (FAP) donates $1 million to national associations to improve grass-roots development, and only 4% has to be used for women’s football (Saavedra, 2003).

The African women’s football is currently in a state of development (Agergaard & Botelho, 2014). For an official representation of women’s football, the African Football Confederation (CAF) implemented a Women’s committee and has organized the African Women’s Championship since 1991. The last one in 2014 was even hosted in Namibia. In 2003, CAF introduced the African Female Player of the Year Award.

There is little research which focuses on women and football in African countries. The topics range from sponsorship to violence and to career opportunities for elite players (Williams & Chawansky, 2013). The number of female football teams and players has increased. Also, the number of female football players migrating to Northern Europe and to the USA has risen significantly during the last years (Agergaard & Botelho, 2014) because their career opportunities and financial support are much better than in Africa. Further motives are to become a professional footballer in a well-organized league as well as to increase their social status (Ibid.). Player migration in particular shows the underdevelopment of female football in Africa. The Relevance of Sport and Football in Namibia

After Namibia’s independence in 1990, the new government established a post-colonial sport system and attempted a sport for all strategy (Chappell, 2005). In the same year, the Ministry of Youth and Sport was established as the overall governing body. With the Namibia Sports Acts of 1995, two bodies were created to develop sport for all (Chappell, 2005): The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the National School Sports Union (NSSU). According to Namibia’s renewed Sports Act of 2003 (Republic of Namibia, 2003), the NSC manages the Sports Development Fund, administrates all national sports bodies and national umbrella sports bodies as well as provides doping control tests. In turn, the NSSU serves all “Namibian Learners in the field of sport” (NSSU, 2013, Section 2) and provides opportunities and facilities for educational institutions. The administration of sport is divided into the 13 regions of Namibia, but all national government functions as well as most of the sport organizations are based in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. Namibia is part of the Anti-Doping Convention and has also established a Namibian Anti-Doping Organization (NADO). Although proper sport policies and legislative arrangements are established, sport is not fully recognized on governmental level and has secondary priority. According to Gschwender (2014), 1.2% of the total expenditure is used for sport. Also, sport and development is promoted[2], but lacks the recognition by the government as well as a link to health benefits. Furthermore, younger people mainly participate in sport because of competition and not because of health (Ibid.). Sport is an obligatory subject in school, but due to underfunding not practiced all over the country, especially in rural areas (Chappell, 2005).

Popular sports in Namibia are football, rugby, cricket as well as athletics and boxing. Mixed ethnic and social participation is mostly provided in football and athletics, whereby football represents the major sport in Namibia due to its high participation number (Gschwender, 2014). The governing body of football is the Namibia Football Association (NFA). The NFA is located in Katutura, a former township in the north of Windhoek. Founded in 1990, affiliated to CAF and FIFA, Namibian football is increasing and encompasses about 130,000 participants (Crowe, 2010). From 1980, a separate women’s football section existed, but received few support from the former national association (Williams & Chawansky, 2013). After Namibia hosted the 2nd World Conference on Women in Sport in 1998, the NFA started to support female football. A women’s desk at the NFA with four full-time employees was established. The Namibian women’s football steadily improved and the women’s national team, called Brave Gladiators, are currently ranked at 119. With the introduction of the Galz & Goals program in 2009, the NFA also focused on girls’ recruitment. Nevertheless, the women’s desk has always been under-funded because resources are unequally distributed between men and women, as happens in most countries (Ibid.). Beside the unequal financial support, media coverage and public interest are also much lower compared to Namibian men’s football. In 2008, the FIFA started to support Namibian women’s football within its FAP and spends annually 37,500 USD (Crowe, 2010). The well-equipped House of Soccer, the NFA’s headquarter, was also funded by FIFA. Furthermore, as part of a football-based community project of FIFA, one Football For Hope Centre was built in 2010. Football in Namibia is a major area of growth in sports development, but the NFA and the women’s desk rely on external fundraising. The main financial supporter of football is still the government (Williams, 2003). In conclusion, the competitive strength of Namibian football for women is weaker comparable to nations with stronger economic support. Also, the population density is one of the lowest worldwide, which hampers the competition between Namibian football teams due to long travel distances and bringing enough people together for a team. Namibian female football is mainly a non-white sport according to Williams (2003) and to the author’s own visits.

3.2.2 Combating HIV/ AIDS & Development Programs

The following two subsections reveal the state of the art about HIV/ AIDS and programs which combat this threat in sub-Saharan Africa as well as a summary about the situation of HIV/ AIDS in Namibia. State of Research of HIV/ AIDS & Development Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa

In 2014, 25.8 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with HIV, thus becoming the most affected region globally (WHO, 2015). Approximately 70% of the worldwide total of new HIV infections is located in sub-Saharan Africa (Ibid.). Hereby, girls and women are disproportionately higher affected by the HIV/ AIDS epidemic due to their particular vulnerability (Koss & Alexandrova, 2005). The HIV prevalence among young women aged 15-24 years throughout sub-Saharan Africa persists in being more than twice as high as young men (UNAIDS, 2013). According to the WHO, the HIV prevalence among women in some countries was even found to be nearly four times that of men in the same age group (2013). This epidemic has a strong socio-demographic and economic impact on the African region. Because of this serious threat, the WHO has a special HIV/ AIDS program to support the Member States in developing policies and programs to strengthen their health systems. The World Health Assembly adopted a new WHO Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on HIV/ AIDS in May 2011. Also, many organizations focus on combating HIV/ AIDS combined with sport in sub-Saharan Africa. Popular programs are Kicking AIDS Out!, Right to Play or the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) to educate young people about HIV/ AIDS within a sport setting.

Literature confirms the positive role of physical education in learning skills for HIV/ AIDS prevention (Njelesani, 2011). Studies in Tanzania and South Africa revealed an improvement in HIV knowledge, self-efficacy, increased awareness of testing’s importance and negotiation skills, but found no effect on changes in risky sexual behaviors (Awotidebe, Monyeki, Phillips, & Lens, 2014; Hershow et al., 2015; Maro & Roberts, 2012). Delva and his colleagues (2010) found a positive impact on attitudes, subjective norms and self-efficacy related to condom use after participating in a sport-based HIV prevention program. On the other hand, they criticize that levels of condom use in general are still too low, which is one of the main reasons for the spread of HIV and AIDS. Nevertheless, research about the effectiveness of sport-based HIV prevention programs is lacking (Delva et al., 2010). The Situation of HIV/ AIDS in Namibia

Although Namibia has a compulsory free education for ten years, a life expectancy of 64.5 years is among the lowest in the world (UNDP, 2014). The biggest challenge is the spreading of HIV/ AIDS, which jeopardizes Namibia’s social and economic wealth (UNICEF, 2015). In 2014, around 260,00 people lived with HIV in Namibia (UNAIDS, 2014). The prevalence rate among 15 to 49 year olds is 16% and therefore affects the economically active population. The ILO expects a decrease of the workforce by 35.1% by 2020 (Keendjele & Mwilima, 2006), whereby the most densely populated area, the North of Namibia, will be particularly hard hit. Furthermore, the high prevalence rate has a strong impact on the health care system. The highest HIV infection rate with 28-29% is among young women in the age group 25 to 29 years (Keendjele & Mwilima, 2006; Republic of Namibia, 2010). Namibia belongs to the 22 countries with the highest number of pregnant women living with HIV (UNAIDS, 2014).

Therefore, programs like a National Policy on HIV/ AIDS by the government or the Multisectoral HIV & AIDS Response Programme of the GIZ are being implemented to combat the largest threat to Namibia’s development. And many Namibian non-governmental projects like HOPE or Catholic Aids Action (CAA) are also focused on the fight against HIV/ AIDS.

3.2.3 Gender Equality & Sport

This sub-chapter reveals the state of research as well as the current situation of women, gender equality and sport in sub-Saharan Africa and in Namibia. State of Research of Gender Equality & Sport in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sport is internationally still highly gendered and perceived as a masculine hegemony (Ogunniyi, 2014; Shehu, 2010). If women participate in sport, especially in a game perceived as men’s like football, female athletes in sub-Saharan Africa have to face many obstacles. Women in sub-Saharan Africa are often still not treated equally to men in reality (Nauright, 2014; Ogunniyi, 2014). Although many African countries have adopted modern constitutions which guarantee equal rights, traditional laws mainly govern day-to-day life. Many administrative bodies are male dominated; women are exposed to increased crimes like rape and sexual abuse, have limited access to education, and are restricted to household responsibilities (Agergaard & Botelho, 2014; Nauright, 2014; Ogunniyi, 2014; Pelak, 2005; Saavedra, 2003). In many African countries the traditional assumption about “gender role, socialization and occupation of separate spheres [is] still visible” (Shehu, 2010, p. xii). Most women have less leisure time than men due to their household obligations; therefore, it is more difficult for them to participate in leisure activities like sport. Beside the gendered division of household labor, many sporting African women are marked by stigmas and harassments.

Research, mostly from South Africa, reveals that sporting women are insulted with negative stereotypes like being masculine, unsexy or labeled as lesbians, especially in football (Engh, 2010; Ogunniyi, 2014). Women are expected to look sexy and muscles are considered as unfeminine (Engh, 2010). Studies also showed that African female athletes experience accusations of being homosexual (Engh, 2010; Jeanes & Magee, 2014; Ogunniyi, 2014). Homosexuality is still illegal in most African countries, and therefore those women are exposed to higher risk of violence. Women often receive no support from their families to participate in sport (Jeanes & Magee, 2014). Beside these cultural norms and expectations, women’s sport is also neglected in terms of media coverage, facilities and material resources (Hargreaves, 1997; Nauright, 2014; Pelak, 2005; Saavedra, 2003). Studies from southern Africa detected that the main obstacles for women to play football are: gendered beliefs, attitudes and cultural barriers, economic troubles and lack of leisure time, limited access and resources to materials and sporting infrastructure, as well as absence of non-material support such as media coverage and public support (Pelak, 2005; Saavedra, 2003).

In turn, to participate in sport can also mean a safe space without violence for sporting females (Jeanes & Magee, 2014). Studies show that African women feel empowered by sports participation, experience an increased socioeconomic mobility as well as physical freedom of expression (e.g. Engh, 2010; Hayhurst, 2013; Jeanes & Magee, 2014; Sikes & Jarvie, 2014) like working outside the house or being able to travel. After Namibia hosted the 2nd World Conference on Women in Sport in 1998 and the Windhoek Call For Action was published, the advocacy organization African Women in Sport Association (AWISA), which is based in Namibia, was founded to support African sports women. The Role of Girls and Women in Namibia

The Namibian Constitution of 1990 and several codes outlaw all forms of discrimination and provide gender equity in Namibia (Keendjele & Mwilima, 2006). At the national governmental level, a Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare as well as at the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service a Directorate of Marginalized and Women in Sport were established, and the National Gender Policy is available in local languages. Despite those official efforts, some gender discriminations and inequalities are still common for many Namibian girls and women (Ibid.). First, women are largely under-represented in the government and media coverage (Republic of Namibia, 2010). In Namibia more women are economically inactive than men due to family and household responsibilities (Keendjele & Mwilima, 2006; Williams & Chawansky, 2013). However, the numbers of informal working women are much higher than for men and women are therefore more disadvantaged (Keendjele & Mwilima, 2006). A household in Namibia is often female-headed, and especially in rural areas a high number are under 20 years of age or widows (Williams, 2003). According to Williams (2003), 80% of female-headed households in the north of Namibia live below the subsistence line. Furthermore, 70% of the black Namibians live in the north and are mainly engaged in agriculture (Williams & Chawansky, 2013), which includes hard physical work. In addition, 44% of female-headed households depend on subsistence agriculture (Republic of Namibia, 2010). Hence, the leisure time of females is normally used to recover and rest. If girls have free time, many spend it on cooking, sewing or other household work (Williams, 2003) because they are used to traditional gender divisions. In rural areas, many women spend up to 50 hours per week with household tasks and food production, and therefore work 12-13 hours per week more than men (Ibid.). Although the enrollment and retention rate of boys and girls in Namibian schools is approximately equal, female learners are more in danger of not completing their education due to teenage pregnancies, economic pressures from family members, early marriages and financial dependence on older men, so called Sugar Daddies (Republic of Namibia, 2010). As outlined before, the HIV prevalence rates among women are higher than among men, which affects the domestic loads of female family members. The status of women among educated people is better though and women are represented in public committees (Bertelsmann, 2003). Thus, education for girls and women is essential for the development.

The heavy workload of females is one of the main reasons, why equal sport participation in Namibia is complicated. While a specific sector of the Namibian government aims to increase women’s participation in sport, no specific governmental programs are established (Gschwender, 2014). However, the organization Namibian Women in Sports Association (NAWISA) was established in 1997 to promote gender equality in sports and is affiliated to the NSC. When Namibia hosted the World Conference on Women in Sport, the interest of female athletes, including female football, was raised (Williams & Chawansky, 2013). Nevertheless, women’s football has been always under-funded compared to men’s as mentioned in chapter Namibian women still experience sport, in particular football, as a “male competitive activity that takes place in privatized space” (Williams, 2003, p. 173) and are often prevented from playing due to taboos related to their gender. An interview at the FIFA World magazine with the successful Namibian footballer Mamie Kasaona, who belongs to the Himba tribe, discloses typical barriers for Namibian girls who want to play football. She mentioned that most Himba people think sport is not important at all; only the educated people understand the meaning of sport (Crowe, 2010). Many tribes like the Himba have traditional customs and rules like girls should marry very young and have many children, or are not allowed to lift their legs like when jumping (Ibid.). Hence, in a community it is prohibited for women and girls to play football. Many Namibian football girls play without the approval of their community or have to give up their passion for football. The number of women who play and manage football is still very small compared to men (Williams, 2003). The only female senior league is based in Windhoek and has a total of 276 players at the moment. At the NFA headquarter work nine women out of a total of 20 employees, from which four work at the women’s desk. Female coaches are also rare; most of the coaches are male and train both men’s and women’s teams. The literature allows to conclude that a guarantee of equal treatment through national laws does not exist because customary law and traditional practices in Namibia still foster gender inequality.

3.3 The Galz & Goals Program

In the following, the program Galz & Goals is introduced which is the empirical foundation of this study. In 2009 established the NFA their Galz & Goals program, which is a football-for-development initiative for young girls to change their lives with the help of football. The program aims to increase access for adolescent girls to participate in structured organized sport as well as to promote and create pathways linking Galz & Goals and elite football development. In addition to football, the G&G program integrates HIV/ AIDS education, life skills and healthy lifestyle components. The NFA initiative has established U13, U15 and U17 leagues in regions throughout Namibia by which 3,000 girls, aged between 10 to 17 years, are participating in football leagues. With the help of the combination of football and education, adolescent girls will gain numerous skills and experiences to develop into strong healthy young women with a boosted self-confidence. According to the WHO, a classroom setting, for which a football team can take the place of, is an ideal and “safe environment to explore, observe and assess […] attitudes and skills” (2003, p. 59). In 2010, G&G won the Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year Award by Beyond Sport (Beyond Sport, 2014). Galz & Goals works in partnerships with Sports Coaches Outreach (SCORE) Namibia, UNICEF and GIZ. Soon, a Girls Centre at the NFA headquarter will open, which is a combined hostel and activity center for girls, where programs on various healthy lifestyles as well as football activities will be offered.

To provide better support to the regions and to receive further grants, the NFA needs to measure the effects of G&G, therefore monitoring and evaluation is fundamental for a sport-for-development program. So far, qualitative M&E tools do not exist at the moment. But they are necessary for a credible and reliable M&E system and requested by the program’s partners.

4 Theoretical Application

The preceding parts about the study’s theoretical framework of life skills development and the literature review represent the foundation of the theoretical application chapter. In figure 3 below, the author illustrates the relationships between several factors that influence the development of life skills through Galz & Goals. This is based on Petitpas’ framework (2005) as well as Gould & Carson’s (2008a) model.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3. Heuristic model of learning life skills through Galz & Goals (own illustration).

These factors will be considered when investigating the experiences and perspectives of the participating girls. As shown in figure 1, it is assumed that external and internal assets affect each participant. Therefore, caring adult mentors, parenting figures and the community as well as life skills, personal identity and physical abilities will be taken into consideration in the study. These assets frame the pre-existing make up of the adolescent girls. The next component is the context, meaning the football participation experience through Galz & Goals itself. A positive context is framed by being a voluntary and regularized activity in a group in a safe environment. Here, the context is influenced by the coaches’ characteristics, like their training philosophy, relationship to their players, or their training competences. Life skills should be learned within the football context. The developed life skills can be categorized into behavioral, cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Finally, the outcomes of life skills can be positive and negative. The outcomes are the most important factors for this research because they represent the objectives of socio-psychological effects. Those effects are the main purpose of this research and therefore will be figured out and analyzed.

The Sport 2 Life Manual, which is used by the coaches of Galz & Goals to teach skills, contains the following attributes as learning objectives (UNICEF Namibia, 2013):

- Self-awareness
- Positive self and group identity
- Situational awareness
- Plan B thinking
- Future focus
- Discipline
- Social confidence
- Pro-social connections

These attributes are considered as important life skills which should be learned through the football program according to UNICEF Namibia (2013). They are included in the study and interview guideline to explore how far the S2L Manual is applied. The study follows a qualitative approach; therefore the results of this study are not based on this theoretical model. It serves more as orientation or guideline for the conducted research methods and can help as foundation for managing and illustrating the findings.

5 Methodology

The following sections describe how the empirical study was designed, gives information about the sampling and with which scientific foundations the interview guideline was developed. In addition, the data collection, in particular the conduction of six in-depth interviews and their transcriptions are explained. Finally, the analysis with the help of the software program MAXQDA and the following steps of categorization and a qualitative content analysis are given.

5.1 Research Design

To answer properly about the effects of the football-for-development program on the girls’ life skills development, an appropriate research design is vital.

In social sciences, quantitative and qualitative research approaches are utilized. The quantitative research approach is strongly based on theories, hypotheses, causality and objectivity, aiming to collect many data from a large sample size to produce statistics for a generalization of a research problem. However, objects of this study, in particular researching social phenomena of subjects like human behavior, are very complex and not simple to measure in numbers. By contrast, qualitative approaches tending to rich descriptions capture the individual’s point of view and experiences (Kay, 2009). The main principles of qualitative social research are openness, research as communication, processual character, reflection of subject and analysis, explication and flexibility (Lamnek, 2010). Furthermore, the importance of description and interpretation, more relatedness to the subject as well as the process itself of researching and knowledge acquiring are characteristically for qualitative approaches (Mayring, 2002). In addition, the subjects are mostly studied in a natural environment and not in an artificial scientific setting as is often the case within quantitative studies (Ibid.). The social and physical setting as well as norms, traditions, roles and values are part of the environment, which in turn influences human actions (Marshall & Rossman, 2010). That is why natural settings are so important in social sciences. Thoughts, feelings or beliefs must be hereby examined to understand human actions (Ibid.).

Consequently, a qualitative research approach is most suitable according to the study’s purpose to look in-depth at a few participants’ experiences, feelings and thoughts about the program, to understand the meaning for the girls’ personality and the particular context within which the girls act. The study is an exploratory and descriptive qualitative research paradigm in social sciences. It follows an inductive logic to research the specific context to emerge to the general according to a ‘bottom up’ approach. The study is based on a single intrinsic case, in particular evaluating the Galz & Goals program, to set a baseline for further comparison. The research is therefore based on phenomenology and philosophical assumptions and examines the “meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept” (Creswell, 2007, p. 57). Hence, the approach proceeds in accordance with empirical transcendental phenomenology, where research is less interpretive and focuses “more on a description of the experiences of participants” (Ibid., p. 59).

Interviews are the most common method in qualitative research (Jones, Brown, & Holloway, 2013). They are more like a conversation with a few topics “to help uncover the participant’s views but otherwise respects how the participant frames and structures the responses” (Marshall & Rossman, 2010, p. 142). Some advantages of interviews are a quick gathering of large amounts of data, the interactive structure as well as the instant follow-up and clarification in case of problems or questions (Ibid.). On the other hand, interviews can be limited because they rely on cooperation and personal interaction (Ibid.). Especially when interviewing young people, the adolescent may feel uncomfortable, is unwilling to answer, or they just do not know how to respond properly due to their age. Therefore the researcher must be skilled in listening and personal interaction as well as be gentle and sensitive to create a comfortable situation with the young girls (Ibid.). The sampling was investigated with face-to-face semi-structured interviews in order to generate a detailed, highly precise picture about the life skills development of the Galz & Goals participants. A semi-structured interview is based on an interview guide with open-ended questions, to cover the most important topic areas of interest (Jones et al., 2013). This ensures that the main topics will be discussed, but the participant still leads the direction of the answers. The guideline serves as orientation only. Therefore, the interviewee is persuaded to articulate her experiences, thoughts, feelings or attitudes freely. Nevertheless the interviewer must stay neutral in terms of avoiding expressing personal opinions or values to not influence the interviewee. Hence, a good balance of interaction, sensitivity and neutrality is fundamental in qualitative semi-structured interviews. The guide is still flexible and the researcher can change questions according to the individual responses and add further questions or ideas (Ibid.). Thus each interview can differ from the others. However, a semi-structured interview still follows an agenda to ensure that the focus on the specific aim of the study will be sustained (Ibid.).

5.2 Sampling

A proper choice of samples is crucial to gain representative or generalizable data. In qualitative social research, a generalization is not made by a large sample size but rather a choice of examples (Lamnek, 2010). The exemplar thereby is considered as typical representative of a category or type, being part of a unity (Ibid.). In this way, generalizability is possible via case examples.

Due to the fact that not all girls from Galz & Goals can be studied in this thesis, a selection of samples had to be done. According to literature, a typically sampling range in phenomenology is from three to ten participants (Creswell, 2014). The researcher did not specify in advance the size of the sampling. During the process of getting in touch with the participants and conducting the interviews, it was repeatedly assessed whether the amount of data is sufficient for answering the research questions. The final sampling consists of six girls.

The football program already has some data about their effects through preceding quantitative evaluations by the NFA. If research knowledge exists already, it is useful to choose the sampling by a qualitative sampling plan (Lamnek, 2010) to ensure a maximum of variation. Hence, attention was paid to interviewing a heterogeneous sampling to discover the diversity of effects of G&G by picking the samples based on specified characteristics. This includes a variety of the girls’ age, duration of football experience, and belonging to different teams. The non-probability sampling was chosen with a maximum variation and snowball technique. The purpose of the maximum variation type of sampling is to gather diverse variations and identify important patterns (Miles & Huberman, 1994). The snowball technique detects cases of interest by contacts and the network of people. In this study, the Namibian Football Association made the contact between the coaches and the researcher. After having talked to the coaches, they made the contact between the girls and the researcher. All of the six participants have been part of the Galz & Goals program for at least one year or longer. The participants’ age ranges from 12 to 20 years. All of them are based in Windhoek, but three have their roots in a rural area. Some of the girls are playing in the U17 and U15 elite team, which is a selection of the best footballers of the whole Galz & Goals league. Three of the girls are playing in a school team, which is part of the Galz & Goals league. In addition, one participant was part of the Galz & Goals team and is now playing for the Brave Gladiators, the Namibian national team. The researcher included her as a participant as well because she was part of G&G for six years and grew up with the program.

Table 1. Interviewed participants.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Since the sampling consists of adolescents, some particularities have to be considered for a qualitative research. Some teenagers probably tend to say yes to a question, regardless of its content (Lamnek, 2010). Also, a tendency to answer too quickly and inconsiderately at the beginning can occur (Ibid.). Furthermore, a response in terms of social desirability, no opinion at all as well as an inactivity or avolition can appear more often (Ibid.). A trustful atmosphere is thus very important; a setting should be chosen where the adolescents feel comfortable and have a certain trust to the researcher. Lastly, the questions should be kept simple and not too complex in order to not tire them out (Ibid.).

5.3 Development of the Interview Guideline

Interview guidelines have several functions for conducting interviews. On the one hand, they help to organize the researcher’s knowledge and questions can be called into the mind (Mey & Mruck, 2011). At the end, an interview guideline serves as a checklist to verify whether all important questions were asked (Ibid.). It is recommended that the guideline should not exceed two pages (Ibid.). In literature there is no consensus as to whether questions should be formulated or just put down as key words.

The interview guide of this study was developed from a combination of factors, including previous literature on life skills development and sport for development. First, the researcher started with some brainstorming, which included many topics and questions in relation to the research topic. In addition, guidelines of other life skills studies were used to extend the ideas and knowledge. This guideline is mainly based on the three dimensions of measurable skills by Goudas (2010): Attitude towards a life skill, life skills knowledge, and the skill to an actual application. Additionally, Camiré's et al. (2013) guide division into four general sections influenced the guideline of this study. They divided the guide into the sections: demographics like age or past athletic experiences; context in terms of experiences; external assets like parental support and relationships with coaches; and player development in terms of how the program promoted life skills. The concept of Camiré et al. (2013) is premised on Petitpas’ et al. framework of fostering psychosocial development.

After collecting the questions, they were checked and sorted as recommended by Mey and Mruck (2011). In particular, an inspection was conducted to see whether all questions were empirically guided by the research questions and allowed the participant to respond freely. Two experts in the field of sport for development reviewed the interview guide to ensure the questions were understandable and appropriate for adolescents. The question topics were categorized based on the theory of Petitpas et al..

At the beginning of the developed guideline is a short checklist for preparation prior to the start of the interview. This comprises the steps of welcoming, information about the study, protection of personal data, securing the anonymity, and the permission to record.

The guideline for the semi-structured interview consists of eight areas (see Appendix A – Interview Guideline Galz & Goals), from which the first one, called general information, and the last one, called wrap-up, serve more as introduction and closing. These sections are not relevant for the research questions. The second part of the guideline includes some background information like the start of participating in Galz & Goals or the importance of football for the girl to break the ice at the beginning. This section is not important to answer the research questions as well, but gives general information about the relevance of football for these girls. Section numbers I to V include the main part of the guideline, which is based on the five research questions, as outlined in chapter 1.2 Purpose Statement and Research Questions. All main topic areas consist of two to four questions. First, the block of experiences/ context contains questions about experiences with the football program as well as the role of the parents and the coach as external assets. This is followed by the set of questions about the knowledge of life skills. The third section is about the attitude towards the program and life skills. The fourth part approaches the application or transfer of life skills to a non-sport setting. And the last part before the wrap-up handles significant changes caused by G&G. The order and the wording of all questions were not fixed and changed from interview to interview.

In addition, a short protocol (see Appendix B – Interview Protocol) with information about date, setting, length of interview as well as name, age, place of origin, football team name, and football experience was developed, to get a short overview of the interviewee and for better organization of information afterwards. Also, a consent form (see Appendix C – Consent Form) was created because the participants are mainly under-aged and the researcher was obliged to receive the written consent of the parents or legal guardians in advance. Moreover, with the help of a consent form, the researcher clarifies the purpose of the interview and the use of the collected material.

The language of all materials, in particular the guideline, the protocol and the consent form is English; like the official language in Namibia.

The aim of the interview guideline is to give the participant an opportunity to tell their story about their experiences with Galz & Goals but also about their attitudes, knowledge and influence of G&G.

5.4 Data Collection

This study is based on primary data to understand the girls’ point of view as effects of the football program. First, the conduction of the semi-structured interviews is described. This is succeeded by how the audiotaped interviews were transcribed to prepare the data for the analysis afterwards.

5.4.1 Conduction of interviews

In this study design, primary data were collected with the help of semi-structured face-to-face interviews with participants of the Galz & Goals program. Six interviews were conducted during the period from April 21 to May 27, 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia. In preparation for the interview due to former football experiences, the scientist took part at some football training sessions to get familiar with and gain the trust of these young girls. This should prevent the participants feeling uncomfortable or being suspicious of the researcher due to her foreign and unfamiliar appearance. The strategy worked quite well and the scientist could build an informal relation to four of the participants in advance, which resulted in some free-spoken interviews.

In order to conduct the semi-structured interviews in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, two places were chosen which provided these conditions. Also, it has to be mentioned that most of the girls come from lower-income households and therefore preferred a place where they could walk to, like the NFA headquarter. Subsequently, three interviews were conducted on the football field next to the NFA Soccer House. This was only possible if the field was not already being used for training sessions or games. The other three interviews were conducted on the quiet terrace of a coffee shop in the center of Windhoek. This was the case of the youngest girls (12-13 years old), who come from higher-income households and where the parents brought them to the meeting point. All interviews were agreed via phone at a time convenient with the interviewee itself or the parental guide of the interviewee. For a casual atmosphere, the interviewer provided snacks and drinks for the young girls.

The face-to-face interview started with a warm welcome and appreciation of their appearance. The girls or the parents were asked to read the consent form and to sign it. The interviewee was informed about the security of her anonymity and was asked for the agreement of voice recording with the researcher’s smartphone. The short protocol was used at the beginning of the interview, when the participant introduced herself. After that, the main part of the interview started and the researcher tried to guide it into a conversation instead of a question-answer game. As described in chapter 5.3 Development of the Interview Guideline, the set of questions were divided into general information, background information, experiences, knowledge, attitude, transfer, change, and the wrap-up. The guideline served as orientation only and questions changed slightly or follow-up questions emerged during the actual interview process. The interview was closed with asking for some recommendations for the program, expression of thanks and a goodbye. The qualitative interviews ranged from 16-25 minutes (M = 21).

The dialogues with the older girls (16-20 years old) worked well in terms of self-confidence and telling stories by themselves. However, the interviews with the 12-13 years old girls had a more tense atmosphere because they were very shy and the questions seemed sometimes difficult for them to answer. Because English is not the native language for all of them, some had difficulties understanding individual words.


[1] The HDI is an index for comparing the human development per country by considering for example a nation’s longevity, education and income (UNDP, 2014).

[2] See the Third National Development Plan (NDP3) from 2008, chapter 9, NDP3 Goal A Society Imbued With Culture, Tradition and Morality, Sub-Sector 2 (Republic of Namibia, 2008).

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The socio-psychological effects of a “Football-For-Development Program” pertaining to adolescent girls in Namibia
A qualitative analysis derived from the “Galz & Goals Program” aimed at improving the life skills of the participating girls
Sport Academy Cologne  (Institute of European Sport Development and Leisure Studies)
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football-for-development, program”, namibia, galz, goals
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Master of Science Friederike Kroner (Author), 2015, The socio-psychological effects of a “Football-For-Development Program” pertaining to adolescent girls in Namibia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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