AN INVESTIGATION ON THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SPORTS
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Background to the Study
Sport in Nigeria has grown from a humble beginning as an entertainment and recreational pastime to a prominent phenomenon whose influences are felt in all facets of lives of citizenry.
It has become an important aspect of the Nigeria culture due to its popularity among the citizenry.
It is as important as the basic necessities of life, like food, clothing and shelter.
This importance and power of sports have been highly recognized by the Nigeria state and had used it to pursue its foreign policy and diplomatic agenda as well as foster national unity and socio-cultural integration.
Examples of such moves by the Nigerian government are the hosting of the 1973 All African Games after the Nigerian civil war to demonstrate to the world that Nigeria is united, sate, and secure; the introduction of the Nigerian Sports Festival in 1973 as a means of fostering unity and cultural integration after the Nigerian civil war; etc. (Boit, 2000).
In further recognizing the power of sports especially for Nigerian children in promoting their physical, mental and socio-economic development, the Nigerian state introduced sports in schools.
That is, considering the role of sports in the all-round development of the child and youths, Nigerian Government came up with a policy aimed at ensuring that sport is offered as a compulsory subject at the Nursery, Primary and Secondary school levels of the formal education system.
According to the UN office on Sport for development and Peace (2010), the Nigerian National Policy on Sports was aimed at ensuring that:
i. all primary and secondary schools have playgrounds for sports as condition for approval for their establishment;
ii. no pupil(s) or student(s) (including those in tertiary institutions) suffers any penalty or discrimination for participating in sports; etc.
It is believed that the proper implementation of the policy will enable the children have such core values as fair play, discipline, friendship, leadership, peace, equality, self-discovery, etc. (Mgbor, 2002).
According to Fasan (2004) in Ogunbiyi (2005), one of the most important phenomena which cut across all human endeavors is sport.
Its knowledge has contributed immensely to the art and science of discoveries.
Students like to engage in the same sports as their age grades, they feel secured, relaxed and well understood in the midst of their peers and overcome challenges together.
However, though students engage in all kinds of sport available in order to develop physically, mentally and even academically, their performance is not encouraging at all especially during competitions and in comparison with expected standard. They do not perform to expectation.
This manifests through their poor outing in major competitions.
It is therefore, the concern of this study to investigating the factors influencing the performance of students in sports with regards to secondary school students in Ilorin West.
Statement of the Problem
Various attempts have been made in the past to explore the performance of students-athlete in local and national competitions with a view to ascertaining their performance level.
Emmanuel (2006) carried out a study of the performance of students in selected sports in Calabar Municipality.
It was found out among others that the students’ performance was not encouraging; that it fell below expectation and standard. Earlier on, John (2004) conducted a study of the performance level of students in sport activities in relation to their performance in other class subjects.
The researcher concluded that students’ performance in sporting activities was below 40% while their performance in other core subjects was above 60%.
He then submitted that there seems to be more attention given to the core subjects than the sporting activities.
This thus becomes worrisome considering the fact that sports contribute to the oneness of Nigeria and has brought about our binding spirit.
It also helps to develop the participants mentally and physically.
That is why the school sports become imperative to ensure all-round development of the students.
This study becomes imperative to study those variables that are responsible for this poor performance as identified in the earlier works.
Hence, this work intends to provide the missing links in those works by not just affirming the poor performance of students in sports but tracing the causes of the poor outings in sporting activities.
This study, therefore, attempts to find out the causes of this poor performance with particular reference to secondary school students.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to investigate the factors influencing the performance of secondary school students in sports.
Specifically, the work intends:
i. to find out whether availability of sporting facilities affect students’ performance in sport
ii. to investigate whether the socio-economic status of the students influence their performance in sports
iii. to reveal whether parental attitude of the students affects the students’ performance in sport
iv. to know whether there is any relationship between emphasis on the core subjects such as English and Mathematics and students’ performance in sports
v. to investigate whether there is a nexus between students’ awareness of importance of sports and their performance in it
This work intends to provide answers to the following questions in order to serve as guide and provide direction.
Does availability of sport facilities affect students’ performance in sports?
Does the socio-economic status of students influence their performance in sport?
Is there any relationship between parental attitude and students’ performance in sport?
Does the emphasis on the core subjects affect students’ performance in sports?
Is there any relationship between awareness of importance of sport and the students’ performance in it?
1. There is no significant relationship between availability of sports facilities and students’ performance in sports.
2. There is no significant relationship between students’ socio-economic status and their performance in sports.
3. There is no significant relationship between parental attitude and students’ performance in sports.
4. Emphasis on the core subjects has no significance influence on students’ performance in sports.
5. There is no significant relationship between societal awareness of importance of sports and students’ performance in sports.
Delimitation of the Study
This work is limited to investigating the various factors influencing students’ performance in sport.
Again, it is limited to only the secondary schools students in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State.
So, in its length and breadth, the work is limited to the performance of secondary schools students in Ilorin West in sports.
The information presented here therefore does not cover their performance in other subjects nor does cover all other students in primary and tertiary institutions.
Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to the society; the school, stakeholders, students, parents, etc.
It is believed that, by the findings of the work, students will begin to appreciate sports more and participate more in order to develop themselves.
By this, they will realize the need to create more time for themselves in order to engage in sport. Consequently, it will improve their performance.
Also, parents will be made to know why their children/wards should engage in sport and why they should be allowed to.
This will then improve performance in sports.
Similarly, the schools will be made to realize the need to create an opportunity and enabling environment for students’ participation in sports to promote performance.
The schools will come to know that they need to provide sport facilities to enhance performance.
The support of the curriculum planners and stakeholders is germane to performance of the students in sport.
It is believed that this work will help to improve the support by de-emphasizing the core-subjects at the expenses of sports.
The stakeholders will thus be made to understand that both deserve adequate and equal attention without one affecting the other.
The general attitude and support of the society towards sport participation will be improved.
That is, this work will help the society realize the need to support the school and the children to participate in sport.
The present attitude of the society does not help matters as students who engage in sports are tagged unserious.
But, it is believed that this work will help change this perception of the society about sports.
Finally, it is the belief of this work that further research work will benefit from its contents and findings.
Thus, it will serve as a source of reference for other research works.