Human Movement Sciences entails the science of the human body in movement in relation to physical activity, sport, motor development and physical rehabilitation. The qualification provides the basis in applying for further specialisation in biokinetics, kinderkinetics, sport science, recreation science and coaching science, but also serves for the training and education of exercise trainers, fitness trainers or sports organisers.
The Diploma in Coaching Science, as it is currently known, extends over three years. The programme includes a generic first semester comprising mostly theoretical modules and a second semester comprising mostly practical modules. The programme is currently also offered at the Mafikeng and Vaal Triangle campuses.
Students at the Potchefstroom campus can specialise in rugby or athletics. Students at the Mafikeng campus specialise in soccer, while students at the Vaal Triangle campus specialise in cricket. Modules such as sports management, video analysis, golf and sports psychology are but a few of the modules included in the course. Athletics and rugby specialist coaches are used to help present some of the practical modules at the Potchefstroom campus.
The course consists of modules with a total value of 240 credits. Many diploma subjects are also on offer for graduate students and if students wish to continue their studies after the diploma course, they receive subject recognition for the BA HMS degree modules they have passed. A maximum of up to 40% of modules already passed need not be repeated.
The three campuses have approximately 400 students enrolled for the programme. The admission requirement for the programme is an ATP score of at least 16 and is subject to selection by a panel.
Recreation Science covers the study of leisure behaviour of individuals and communities in order to identify needs and create opportunities for recreation participation to thus enhance total well-being and a healthy lifestyle. Recreationists work in the public, private and non-profit sectors where they make important contributions towards community development and health promotion.
Biokinetics’ primary function is to improve physical functioning and health care through exercise as modality. As a profession it is concerned with health promotion, the maintenance of physical abilities and final-phase rehabilitation, by means of scientifically based physical activity programme prescription.
A Biokineticist is a clinical exercise specialist who:
- functions within professional alliance to health and medicine, and is recognised by and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa;
- improves a person’s physical wellbeing and quality of life through individualised scientific assessment and the prescription of exercise in rehabilitative treatment to prevent or intervene with certain ailments and enhances performance (sport and work);
- evaluates and measures body posture, body composition, blood pressure, glucose levels, lung function, heart rate, fitness, muscle strength, endurance, power, flexibility and other health screenings; and
- is a health professional who, through health promotion and wellness, creates a better quality of life for clients.
Sport Science is the discipline aimed at applying the most recent scientific knowledge in such a way that athletes will use their full performance potential. The direction is particularly aimed at applying sport physiological, anatomical, biomechanical and sport psychology knowledge, as well as principles, in such a way that athletes' training and competition participation will be as effective as possible and will enable them to reach their full genetic potential.
From a health perspective and based on educational principles, Kinderkinetics is the profession that attempts to optimise the neuro-motor development of young children (0-13 years), through scientifically based physical activity. Kinderkinetics is a full-time postgraduate area of specialisation, based on a selection process, where the training focus is on an in-depth knowledge of the developing child’s growth, perceptual-motor and physical development, the enhancement and the correction thereof, with the optimal well-being of the child as end goal.
A kinderkineticist thereby contributes significantly to the development of specific movement activities to improve sports-specific activities, the gross-motor, sensory and the perceptual-motor preparation of preschool children, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle of children by timeously establishing the necessary fundamental skills, while exposing older children to health-promoting programmes where they can obtain knowledge, values and skills to contribute to their own health in a responsible manner when they get older by leading an active lifestyle.
Kinderkineticists (also called paediatric exercise health specialists) also receive intense training in the assessment of the development of children where limitations in the abovementioned fields are identified and addressed through developing and effecting individualised programmes for children with growth and/or developmental handicaps, health concerns such as inactivity or obesity and health and developmental limitations, accompanied by syndromes or disabilities. Kinderkineticists register with the South African Professional Institute of Kinderkinetics (SAPIK), which is the professional home of kinderkineticists in South Africa where their professional conduct is regulated by registration. The School of Human Movement Sciences of the NWU is the physical address of SAPIK of which prof Anita Pienaar is the president.