UJ’s Engela van der Klashorst, PhD candidate, wins Graduate Paper Award

A PhD student at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), within the Faculty of Health Sciences, will be receiving a prestigious Graduate Paper Award at the World Congress of Sociology of Sport which will be held in Taoyuan, Taiwan, From Tuesday 30 May until Friday, 2 June 2017.

Ms Engela van der Klashorst won the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) Graduate Paper Award for presenting her paper entitled: “Employment Through Sport: Ignoring the Socio-Economic Rights of Youth Leaders working in Sport for Development Initiatives on Grass Root Level in South Africa.”

The aim of the ISSA Graduate Paper Award is to recognize the scholarship of outstanding graduate students in the international community of sociology of sport.

“I explained what I had done in my study and how it has helped to engage and work alongside youth leaders,” explained Ms van der Klashorst.

“Youth leaders are seen as volunteers and are paid a stipend. This would work in a country where people have alternative employment and volunteer work is voluntary. However, in a country like South Africa, being a youth leader is a job and that is why I felt I had to write about it – we are singing the praises of Sport for Development whilst the human rights of young people providing the service is not acknowledged,” she added.

Ms Klashorst paper examines socio-economic rights of youth leaders working in sport. It is also the first paper from Africa to win the ISSA Graduate Paper Award.

“This shows the level of post graduate supervision provided by UJ and illustrates that academics and post graduate students from the university and Africa are engaged in the conversation on human rights,” said van der Klashorst.

Engela shared her goals by stating that, “The near future will hold the completion of my PhD in Sport Sciences with my PhD supervisor, Prof Cora Burnett. In terms of my work with Sport for Development, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), funding agencies and youth leaders, I will now focus my attention on working towards equality for the various role players involved.”

Sport sociologists from all over the world will attend and be involved in the international conference – with the aim of attracting Sport for Development NGOs, funding agencies and people working towards the achievement of Human Rights.

The award is granted to a scholarly paper, authored by a graduate student, which is deemed by a panel of judges to demonstrate considerable originality, critical and analytical ability, and to be of the highest quality from among those submitted.

Van der Klashorst’s paper will also be taking part in the ISSA world Conference. “Nothing will keep me away from the conference. The ISSA 2017 conference promises to be a great conference and, of course, I will not miss Prof Burnett’s presentation,” she added.

Van der Klashorst concluded: “If you see that something is wrong in society – do not just comment on it, be part of the solution.”


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