Sporty kids
Children have so many extra-mural activities to choose from these days it's enough to make any parent's head spin. Here's a guide to simplify the choice.
Basketball is played at primary and high school. Every year national under-13 to under-19 teams are selected. The school provides the fi eld and balls. Your child will, however, need sportswear. A cheap basketball costs about R35, but they can cost as much R300.

Athletics is offered nationally at primary and high schools. Includes track events such as hurdles and long- and middledistance races, hammer throwing, pole vaulting, high jump and discus. Most schools provide the equipment. At primaryschool level athletes run barefoot, but high school students require spikes. Spikes cost between R300 and R1 000.
For more information call Peppi Olevano of the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA Athletics) on 057 573 1162, or 082 550 7032.

is played by boys and girls at primary- and high-school levels. National under-12 to under-20 teams are selected annually to take part in the National Championships. Schools provide the soccer balls, which cost about R79 apiece. A soccer outfi t costs about R130. If your school doesn’t offer soccer as a sport your child can join a local club.

Baseball is played countrywide at about 1 000 primary and high schools. There are also national under-13 to under-19 teams. All equipment is supplied by the school. If you want your child to practise at home you’re looking at R100 for a glove, R300 for a bat and R40 for a ball.

Badminton is played at primary and high schools. Under-12 to under-19 national teams are selected annually. Most schools provide racquets and shuttlecocks. Racquets cost between R60 and R1 000, while shuttlecocks cost about R10 each. Shorts and a T-shirt are the standard uniform.

Gymnastics is offered by very few schools as a sports option, in which case your child will have to join a gymnastics club. Fees vary depending on how many hours a week your child trains, but on average it will cost R200 a month.

Children compete in championship events as members of a team or individually. Gymnastics gear costs about R200 for a tracksuit, R130 for a leotard and R40 for boys’ gym shorts.
For more information call the South African Gymnastics Union on 011 782 5269

Boxing is offered at primary and high school. In some provinces, such as the Eastern Cape, up to 80 per cent of schools offer boxing as a sport. If the school doesn’t have a boxing gym, learners usually apply for group membership at a local boxing gym.

Membership fees vary from club to club. Boxing gloves cost around R200 a pair, boots R199, a skipping rope R30 and a gumshield R21. You will have to pay R15 every time your child does a grading exam.
For enquiries call Archie Jack on 083 511 0937

Hockey is played by boys and girls at primary and high school. National under-16 to under-18 teams are chosen annually and they regularly compete internationally. Most schools expect children to buy their own hockey sticks (between R100 and R1 000) and gumshields (from R30 to R200, if made by a dentist).

The little ones play in takkies, but special boots are needed for play on synthetic surfaces. These cost upwards of R200. Goalkeepers’ equipment is costly and can set you back up to R2 000.
For more information call Hockey South Africa on 011 485 1109

is the biggest girls’ sport in the country. Under- 12 to under-19 provincial teams are selected annually. Netball gear costs about R120.
For more information call USSASA Netball on 011 391 6945

Rugby is the biggest boys’ sport in South Africa. Under-13, under-16 and under-19 teams are selected annually for Craven Week. Schools provide the balls, which cost from about R70. Rugby jerseys cost about R150.
For more information call SARFU on 021 659 6900.

Tennis is played at primary and high schools. Racquets cost from R100 and balls are R15 to R20 each.
# Call USSASA on 011 391 6945 for the name of a coach in your area, but remember that private tuition is costly.

Drum Majorettes is the biggest girls’ sport in SA after netball. Schools compete against each other and in the South African and USSASA championships. The cost of uniforms is borne by the school, but parents must pay travel expenses and tournament entry fees (these are seldom more than R2 per child).

is offered nationally as a school subject and as an extramural activity. Extramural ballet classes cost between R300 and R600 a term. Exam fees vary from R200 per exam for seven year olds to R600 for older dancers. Soft shoes cost about R100, while pointe shoes cost R300 to R1 000. A leotard costs about R90 and tights will set you back around R30.
For more information visit the Royal Academy of Dancing website at

Squash is played at primary and high school. Schools without squash courts usually pay a fee to use the nearest courts. This expense is borne by the school. A good racquet costs from R200 and good shoes from R230. Balls cost R20.
For info call Grant Norton on 083 455 5524

Chess is played at primary and high school. A basic chess set costs about R100. School teams can join their nearest junior SA chess club and players can compete as a team or individually in tournaments. Tournament entry fees are about about R15 a time.

Cricket is played at most primary and high schools. At primary-school level the schools usually provide the equipment and little ones play in white shirts and shorts. By the time they get to high school players prefer to buy their own bats and balls. A good bat costs about R1 000 and a ball between R70 and R100.
For more information call the United Cricket Board on 011 880 2810.

Swimming competitions (interschool) are held at regional level and under-14 to under-19 teams are selected annually to compete abroad. Swimming club membership fees are about R200 a month. Swimsuits cost R120, tracksuits R200, goggles R70, caps R40 and tog bags R120. If your child competes nationally you’ll have to fork out about R1 200 annually for transport, participation and equipment.
Call Peta Kaplan on 083 555 5010.

Softball is played countrywide at primary and high school and under-13 to under-19 national teams are selected annually. It is played on a rugby fi eld and most schools provide the equipment. Gloves cost R500, balls are R80 each, bats cost R600, breastplates and leg guards are R230 apiece and a full face guard costs upwards of R500.

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