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The impact of COVID-19 on sports events, national federations, and organizations in South Africa over a 16-month period

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • David Maralack
  • Donovan Jurgens
  • Roger Woodruff


On March 14, 2020, a State of Disaster Alert level 5 was declared in South Africa. Citizens were not permitted outside their homes, bringing sport activities to a standstill. To analyze the impact of COVID-19 on South African sport this chapter relies on a national survey of 49 sports federations, follow-up longitudinal surveys of 13 sports federations, and brief case studies of rugby, football, and tennis. South African sport faces a deep crisis that has the potential to change sport in South Africa forever. The COVID-19 pandemic, a worsening economic crisis, and deepening inequalities threaten the fragile fabric of sport. However, COVID-19 also presented sports organizations with opportunities to re-invent themselves, re-examine their operations leading to increased access and affordability, and even grow its membership, opening up new markets for sport and in some instances instead of huge financial losses, has led to significant savings.

Suggested Citation

  • David Maralack & Donovan Jurgens & Roger Woodruff, 2022. "The impact of COVID-19 on sports events, national federations, and organizations in South Africa over a 16-month period," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 19, pages 231-245, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_19

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