Department of Sports Science Conducts Two-Day Data Collection Training Workshop

TrainingThe Department of Sport Science in collaboration with the SUNRISE Study-International conducted a two-day data collection training workshop facilitated by the SUNRISE International personnel starting on January 19, 2023. The training was in preparation for the International Study of 24-Hour Movement Behaviours in Children of Early Years: The SUNRISE Pilot Study. The pilot project is funded through a grant from the World Cancer Research Fund International: Regular Grant Programme. 

Project leader, Professor Anthony Okely, University of Wollongong Australia in the School of Health and Society, mentioned that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified prevention of obesity in young children as one of its key priorities for the 21st Century. 

He said in 2018 WHO released global 24-hour movement guidelines for children in their early years. Professor Okely stated that initial data collected in Australia and Canada showed that only 15 percent of pre-schoolers (ages three and four years) met all three of the daily movement guidelines. The result is that the remaining 85 percent who do not meet all three guidelines are at increased risk of poor health and developmental outcomes and potentially poorer human capital development.  

Consequently, Professor Okely said for these reasons, it was important and timely to collect international data using the new WHO global 24-hour movement guidelines. That, he observed, would provide the first such international data for the early years and support global efforts to prevent young children from developing obesity besides ensuring that they reached their developmental potential.  

Professor Okely stated that the proposed study included a capacity-building element in low- and middle-income countries, of which Botswana was part, where staff would be trained in collecting data on these behaviours. He said the aim was to create a global support network among investigators throughout these countries.  

Prior to the commencement of the main study, pilot data needs to be collected in as many as possible of the 54 proposed countries involved in the study. This pilot study will involve 100 children (50 each from a rural and urban setting) and test all the methods and protocols for the main study. 

Accompanying Professor Okely, was Associate Professor Catherine Draper, Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa who also lead investigator. Professor Draper gave an overview of the conduct and interaction during the pilot study. She stated that it was key that throughout the study, trainees with researchers involved parents, guardians or caregivers. She said that would aid in the data collection as different scenarios would present themselves, some with ease and some with difficulty. 

UB research team led by Dr Dawn Tladi Trainconducted practical training with five children together with their parents. The idea was to mimic the data collection conditions as much as possible. The children were taken through all the assessments learnt while the parents participated in a questionnaire. All data was captured electronically via the Research Electronic Data Capture Software RedCAP. 

Others who attended the training session were Dr Gaonyadiwe Lubinda-Sinombe, co-investigator, School of Nursing; Head of the Department Sport Science, Dr Comfort Mokgothu, co-investigator, Dr. Marea Tsamaase co-investigator Department of Family and Consumer Science, and graduate students from the sport science department. 

In pursuit of academic excellence