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The Exercise Physiology & Sports Nutrition program has an emphasis on global aspects of sports science and nutrition. Students work in a hands-on environment to assess scientific aspects of sport performance and components of health-related fitness in South Africa as well as address and educate local communities on the link between nutrition and exercise.

Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | Sport South Africa


The Exercise Physiology & Sports Nutrition program has an emphasis on global aspects of sports science and nutrition. The program covers broad concepts of human performance, sports nutrition, environmental physiology, neuro cardio, sports injury recovery, and performance assessments. Students learn through a combination of lectures, observation, applied research, and visits to local laboratories, sports institutes, and clinics.

The program has a strong service learning element where students partner with sustainable community projects to serve the underprivileged communities of the Western Cape. Students work in a hands-on environment to educate and assess scientific aspects of sport performance and components of health-related fitness as well as address and educate on the link between nutrition and exercise. Students may also have the opportunity to work with high caliber athletes by educating and assessing them on aspects related to nutrition and exercise performance.

Why Cape Town?

This program is hosted in the city of Cape Town and its surrounds. Cape Town is a dynamic world-class city and a melting pot of South Africa’s rich cultural diversity and fascinating history. South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation, and it is because of its diverse ethnicity that students have the opportunity to maximize the diversity of their experience through interactions with various communities and institutions. In addition, sport has played a pivotal role in uniting South Africa with the Rugby World Cup in 1995 being on the iconic moment that allowed South Africans to come together as one. It is against this backdrop that students will be able to undertake a transformative learning journey.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to

  • Discuss the state of the exercise physiology and sports nutrition in South Africa.
  • Explore and compare the healthcare needs and practices in the South African context with those of their own country and community.
  • Serve local communities through the development and appraisal of exercise and nutrition programs.
  • Think through key principles and the application of exercise physiology and sports nutrition.

Note: Specific learning outcomes and activities can be constructed in collaboration with EDU Africa’s dedicated curriculum development team.


Stellenbosch Human Movement Science Lab

The Movement Laboratories at Stellenbosch University’s Sport Science Department consist of three separate, but equally important laboratories i.e. the Exercise and Sport Biomechanics Laboratory, Adapted Physical Activities Laboratory and Motor Control & Learning Laboratory. The three laboratories work together towards bettering movement through evidence–based approaches. The laboratories not only focus on high performance athletes but also healthy individuals, recreational athletes and special populations.

Sports Science Institute of South Africa

All scientific research at the Sports Science Institute of SA is led by the University of Cape Town Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM). ESSM is a postgraduate teaching and research unit within the Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The laboratories are located within the Sports Science Institute of SA, which provides a good environment for ESSM to collaborate with the Sports Medicine, Orthopedic, Biokinetics, Physiotherapy, Psychology and Dietetics Practices as well as the High-Performance Centre. In addition, ESSM has access to a controlled pressure (barometric) chamber at the nearby Kingsbury Hospital.

Ubuntu Football

Ubuntu is an African expression of togetherness, describing that what I am is intrinsically linked to what we are. Ubuntu Football is far more than a sports development organization, it functions as a catalyst of transformation. Ubuntu believes that the kids of today will only become the leaders and community-transformers of tomorrow if they receive the holistic, long-term mentorship, discipleship and education that their communities often do not provide. Ubuntu believes that as the players they work with are transformed as individuals, an exponential transformation is possible, as they become influencers and leaders in their families, communities and beyond. Ubuntu’s Football Forward program is a community-based outreach program working with some of Cape Towns most talented 9-11 year old students. Each Football Forward site serves first and foremost as a way to give back to the community. Ubuntu provides free high-level technical/skill development to the best youth players from the surrounding area in hopes to help raise the level of football in Cape Town.

The Goodsport Trust

The Goodsport Trust is leading the way in the implementation of early developmental movement and physical education programs in schools, long-term coach, infrastructure and facilities development. Goodsport is a small NGO run by a dedicated team of professionals who are passionate about improving the lives of the youth in our communities through physical activity and sport. With the assistance of Masicorp, they are providing physical education programs at Ukhnayo Primary School in Masiphumelele.

School training clinics

EDU Africa has ongoing relationships with various high schools and primary schools in communities that would benefit significantly from the involvement of a visiting group. Involvement opportunities include soccer training clinic and skills development as well as life skills classes addressing topics such as healthy life style choices, exercise, and nutrition.

Customize Your Program

Our friendly and experienced program consultants will work closely with you to develop your custom faculty-led program from conceptualization to execution. We believe every journey to Africa gives students the opportunity to learn and transform and we pride ourselves in our ability to create unique, sustainable and truly African transformative learning journeys.

Featured Experiences

Dinner and Djembe Drumming

Gold Restaurant is an experience of the opulent heartbeat of African cuisine and culture. Tailoring its menu to the diversity found across the African continent, Gold Restaurant offers a gourmet selection seasonally adapted from Northern, Sub-Saharan, and Southern Africa. Guests will have the opportunity to join in a djembe drumming session. Feel the pulse of Africa as you drum and dine.

Cape Point

As the most southwestern outcrop of the African continent, Cape Point rises above the cobalt and turquoise-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. With the sound of the sea rushing below you, climb up to the lighthouse for a view of misty mountains in the distance at one of Cape Town’s most scenic and significant vantage points.

Cape Malay Cooking Class

Jasmina’s house is part of the colorful and immensely cultural tapestry that is found in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town. The Malayan cuisine that she imparts is also a part of the rich heritage of the area, seasoned with distinct spices, and created from recipes that have been handed down many generations. You can learn how to make a mouth-watering Malayan meal in the warmth of her kitchen, from traditional samosa starters to rich chicken curry. Afterward, you can enjoy the living dish of history you helped to spice.

Robben Island Overnight

Step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela for a night by staying in prison accommodation, along with a private tour of the prison and island. Get a feel of the isolation and challenges that the prisoners faced for decades in one of the world's most famous prisons on Robben Island. This is a unique experience that will bring you closer to understanding the challenges that Mandela and many other historical figures faced in their fight for freedom and equality.

Monks Cowl Drakensberg Hike

Located in the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa, the trails of Monks Cowl showcase the incredible scenery of Drakensberg in the midst of mountains and valleys. Experience the beauty of South Africa as you explore these picturesque landscapes.

Chokka Trail

Hiking the Chokka trail is a 14-kilometer adventure, taking you through the Coastal Cradle of Humankind. During the hike, you will have an opportunity to see the second-largest blowhole in Southern Africa and the remains of the Osprey and Cape Recife. After the hike, there is an included tour of the SANCCOB Penguin Rehabilitation Center. Continuing via Shark Point, there is calamari tasting at Port St. Francis, then a canal cruise in the late afternoon. The day ends with dinner at Joe Fish Restaurant or a local boma for braai.

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of Apartheid. The museum is a superb example of design, space, and landscape. It offers the international community a unique South African experience. A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes the visitor through a dramatic emotional journey that tells the story of a state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny. The exhibits include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels, and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that contribute to the saga of Apartheid.

Pilanesberg Safari

Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. It exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet vegetation of the Lowveld region. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of game animals, flora, and fauna that are not often found living side by side. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the “big five", wild dog, roan, tsessebe, sable antelope, and more than 360 bird species.

AWOL Bicycle Tour

This international, award-winning, socially responsible bicycle tour in Masiphumelele, Kommetjie is a new take on township tours, providing guests the opportunity to meet and interact with the local community from a bicycle seat. A qualified local guide will escort guests around the township, visiting interesting places and explaining Xhosa customs. The tour includes lunch at a local township restaurant that serves delicious authentic African food.

Boulders Beach

Step through the entryway to this beach and find yourself face to face with one of Africa’s quirkier inhabitants - penguins. A colony of African penguins resides on Boulders Beach - a stretch of sand dominated by giant seaside rocks and penguin nests.

Bo-Kaap Walking Tour

This tour winds its way through jewel-toned houses and mosques, providing commentary on the history and tradition behind the iconic architecture of the Bo-Kaap district. As you follow your guide through this segment of Cape Town, we invite you to explore a side of South African history defined by cultural fusion and crossover. Watch tradition unfold into a modern landscape of vibrancy as East meets West at the southern point of Africa.

Soweto Tour

The Soweto Day Tour takes in the highlights of this iconic township including Nelson Mandela’s former home and the Hector Pieterson Museum. You will get close to Soweto Culture, meet the people, try local foods, and maybe even some Omqombothi (traditional beer) at a shebeen. This tour is one of a kind. It takes you through the smell of pavement-cooked meals and the buzz of people going about their daily chores in the streets. Come and experience the humanity, hospitality, and warmth of township life - the "ubuntu" of South Africa.

Abseiling Table Mountain

Abseiling is one of the best ways to explore the rocky crags of Table Mountain. This thrilling activity includes a relatively technical hike, so a moderate fitness level is required to experience this adventure!

Table Mountain

Find out why Table Mountain is one of the seven natural wonders of the world as you climb to the top. The mountain stretches gloriously on the Cape Town horizon, rising effortlessly from the lights and bustle of the city. As you ascend, the rugged terrain becomes a world in and of itself, with age-old rocks, grasses, and shrubs covering the mountainside. The top of Table Mountain provides astounding views of the city on one side and the sea on the other, with rolling clouds over rocky peaks. A cable car provides a scenic descent, suspended gracefully over jagged rock and the famous flora of the mountain.

Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center

This center provides a sanctuary for many wild animals such as leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, and vultures that are the victims of habitat loss. While Moholoholo is directly involved in research, breeding programs, and rehabilitation, it also helps tribal communities and farms by adopting and relocating 'problem animals’ that would otherwise be poisoned or injured if left at the mercy of people. The aim of this rehabilitation facility is to promote awareness about environmental upheaval and to support endangered wildlife.

Class in the Clouds

Did you know that Table Mountain is believed to have more plant diversity than the British Isles put together? Class in the Clouds gives learners the chance to learn all about the amazing fauna and flora found in the Cape Floral Kingdom while enjoying the view from the top of Table Mountain.

Induna Adventures

Induna offers a wide variety of adrenaline-racing activities such as white water rafting, ziplining, and quad biking. Only twenty minutes away from Kruger National Park, Induna’s pristine location provides an unforgettable setting for adventure sports and outdoor team activities.

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