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The effect of a sport stacking intervention programme on fine and gross motor skills in preschool children.

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Introduction The lack of physical activity among children is alarming and has become a major health concern as children are not engaging in enough physical activity to assist in the growth and development of the child. The development of motor skills in children plays an important role in the level of physical activity children engage in. If a child cannot efficiently run, kick, jump, catch, etc., then the opportunities to participate in sport and other physical activities will become limited because they will not have the necessary skills to do so. Fine motor skills are just as important as gross motor skills and are necessary for the development of basic self-help skills. Activities like sport stacking is believed to improve hand eye coordination, reaction time and motor proficiency. Aim The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a five-week sport stacking intervention programme on fine and gross motor skills in preschool children. Methods The study was a quasi-experimental non-equivalent controls design with a pre- and postintervention assessment. The sample selection was a convenient sample of 40 participants between the ages of four and six years. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2) was used to assess fine and gross motor skills. The data collected in this study was subjected to various statistical procedures. All the data was analysed by a computerised statistical procedure (SPSS Version 19) and descriptive (means and standard deviations) and inferential (paired t-tests and independent t-tests) statistics were used to test significant differences pre- and post- intervention with p ≤ 0.05. Results Results demonstrated that the intervention group significantly improved in several fine and gross motor areas. Paired samples t-test for the intervention group showed significant differences for five items assessed (copying a star, transfer of pennies, dribbling a ball – alternating hands, sit-ups and one legged stationary hop). Independent samples t-test showed significant differences for transfer of pennies and dribbling a ball - alternating hands. Analysis of covariance showed significant differences in copying a star, transfer of pennies, tapping feet and fingers – same side synchronised, dribbling a ball – alternating hands and one-legged stationary hop. Conclusion A sport stacking intervention programme is a suitable method to improve fine and gross motor skills in preschool children.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.