Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dané COETZEE

Gender differences in the current profile of five-year-old children’s fundamental motor skills

The first aim of this study was to determine the current profile of five-year-old children’s fundamental movement skills (FMS) based on their qualitative performance. The second aim was to determine the possible gender differences in five-year-old children’s FMS according to qualitative and quantitative performance. The sample consisted of children from the Potchefstroom and Vaalharts areas in South Africa. Convenience sampling was used as part of a cross-sectional study to gather the necessary information. The study included ninety-one children with an average age of 64.76 months (SD=3.27) (44 boys; 47 girls). Four categories of fundamental movement skills were measured. The activities included six testing locomotor skills; two stability skills; four coordination and manipulation skills and two body- and spatial awareness skills. An independent t-test was used to analyse the differences between the genders, while a frequency table was used to identify the distribution of the children across the developmental phases for each FMS. Significant statistical (p≤0.05) and practical (d≥0.3) differences were found as the boys did better in the two-legged jump, running, the standing long jump, kicking a stationary ball, kicking a rolling ball and catching a ball. The girls only showed a statistically significantly better performance in the forward heel-toe walk on a beam. Boys were found to be more mature in their qualitative execution in most of the locomotor-, coordination- and manipulation skills, while the girls performed better than boys did with the stability skills.


Key words: Fundamental motor skills, balance skills, gender, locomotor skills, manipulation skills

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dané COETZEE


Associate Professor
Program Leader: Kinderkinetics
Senior Future Leader/Volunteer (FLV) of Global Community Health (GCH)
School of Human Movement Sciences
Faculty of Health Science
North-West University, Potchefstroom




Dané Coetzee is currently an associate professor in the School for Human Movement Sciences at the North-West University, Potchefstroom (South Africa). Her teaching responsibilities include modules on undergraduate and post graduate levels as well as guidance to several masters and doctoral students. Since 2016 she is a member of the FLV program and participated in various conferences. Since 2019 she has been appointed as the program leader for the Kinderkinetics program. As part of the Kinderkinetics team she focuses on improving and promoting the importance of early childhood development. Several national and international publications have been published from her pen and she currently serves as reference for a national and international journal respectively. Some of her research interests are: early childhood development, motor skills development, visual stimulation, sport vision, DCD and ADHD.