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Cuban model for Sports Development (2003)

Posted in: Documents | 20 January 2004


The genesis of Cuba’s national sports movement is attributed to the first Presidential declaration after the 1959 revolution to the effect that PE and Sport were the vehicles by which individual health, social well-being, intellectual development and the shaping of high performance athletes would be achieved, and by extension national development.

Prior to 1959, there were 609 coaches in Cuba (1 per 10,0000 inhabitants), many of whom were under-qualified; and 900 sporting facilities situated mainly in the capital city. Fourteen thousand students had been exposed to PE in private schools and athletes sponsored their own participation in international championships. No sports equipment was provided to Schools and none was manufactured locally. The national sports movement was developed over time through a comprehensive, research driven and systematic approach to the implementation of PE and Sport for all programmes in day care centers, schools, communities, the workplace and homes.

The Cuban Model has at its core the fundamental belief in the value of PE and Sport as tools for sustainable human and national development. It posits that PE and Sport serve to develop the social, mental, physical and intellectual dimensions of the individual; and in so doing enable the individual to contribute to the development of the state.

In essence, the Cuban Model represents a critical component of Cuba’s culture. The sporting/physical education sub-culture functions as the vehicle that shapes each individual into an ideal ‘citizen’; and provides the avenue through which the individual is able to develop his/her full potential, and by extension the full potential of the state.


1 Cubanmodelsportdev (170.08 KB)