ABSTRACT: The study investigated Societal Influence and Students’ Participation in Secondary School Sports. The descriptive survey research design was employed. The population for the study was made up of all Physical and Health Education students in the 2016/2017 academic session in secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area. A sample size of one hundred and twenty (120) respondents was used for the study using simple random sampling technique. The “Questionnaire on Societal Influence and Students’ Participation in Secondary School Sport (QSISPSSS)” was adopted as instrument for collecting data. The method for data analysis was a chi-square statistical technique.
Societal Influence and Students’ Participation in Secondary School Sports
Findings revealed that peers have a positive influence on students’ participation and that parents also have a positive influence to the participation of students in Sport in secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the parent should promote a good relationship with the students which will help them to participate in the sporting activities in schools and students should be enlightened on the usefulness of taking parts in $porting activities and the cover opportunities available to them if they perform well.
1.1 Background to the study
Education is a factory where human beings are refined and sent into the labour market. John Locke (1982) in Lazarus (2014) opined that an individual is not born blank; rather, he is born raw. This implies that the child is born with certain potentialities that are hidden and they need education to expose these hidden potentialities. The society undoubtedly remains the common yardstick as well as a determining factors or a pivotal measure through which the performance of a student is ascertained.
The environment in which a child lives or where learning institution is cited definitely has a consequence on the general pattern of his growth and development of the child (Akaeze, 2004). According to a statisticians (Ariyo, 2004), Vincent, 2006), there is a high correlation between the environment and the number of students in schools as well as the level of participation of students in school activities including sport activities.
Education theorists actually agree that nature and nurture are complementary for any meaningful educational development of the child. According to a front line guidance counselor (Akaeze, 2004), those children whose parents are brilliant and naturally endowed intellectually and are exposed to good food do well in their studies in schools and also like to participate in sport activities. The author further postulated that, the society in which a child lives or where learning environments is cited definitely has a consequence on the general pattern of his growth and mortal development.
However, sports are biological physcomotor activities which enable an individual to develop and control his physique. It can also be described as activities involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another or for the purpose of entertainment. Nevertheless, the traditional view of sport participation is that it has a beneficial effect on the social and moral development of children and young people. Sport may have the tendency if well organized to change the entire human personal through active and passive participation. Such components of personality that sports are capable of transforming could be physical, social, moral, mental and emotional (Agbomi, 2012).
Regular sport participation plays an important role in promoting students well being. Sports participation develops students physically, socially and psychologically (Kubayi, Toriola & Monyeki, 2013) and helps them to cope with stress as well as improve their academic performance and school attendance. Previous researcher Sallies & Owen (1999) have demonstrated that societal factors that influence sport participation of secondary school students are media, families (parents/siblings) peers, physical education teachers and community members.
Furthermore, research has also shown that students are mainly influenced by their families and peers. According to Middleton and Longhead (2001), students are less influence by peers when they have close and involving relationships with their parents. The authors further contended that the ability of peers to influence the behaviors and attitude of adolescents is magnified when the adolescent hold negative perception about their parental relationship. Edim, Emeribe & Akah (2008), expressed that it is not an overstatement to remark that of all school subjects put together, sport alone can take a very prominent position in the educational system.
Sport properly harnessed, can contribute to the educational goals and objectives of the society. It is a well known fact that sport and recreation have been the fundamental elements of the curricular of institutions throughout history. According to anthropological and historical researchers, physical education and sport are the most ancient subjects in humanities. From early to the present line, sports in one form or the other has been promoted by all fields of world civilization, it has received varying degree of cultural and government emphasis and attention (Oyeniyi, 2001).
According to Edim (2008), sport especially the games of football, volleyball, Lawn tennis, basketball have all had a worldwide recognition, the aforementioned sport are such that every member of the society will want his/her member, whether family, friends, community to be an active participant in the sport. They want their own “person” to be locally, nationally and internationally recognized, some even go a long way to bribe the organizing committee of such sporting competition to make sure that their so-call person is looked at as a core member of the team. This is in line with the belief of Bassey (2010) who asserted that the local organizing committee of such sport competition tends to effect an unnecessary change in the name of those that have been penciled down to be a partaker of such sport competition.
Secondary school sport is a sporting activity that involves secondary school students, this sport is always even as a medium of scouting for raw and emerging talent in different sporting competition. Bassey (2010) asserted that secondary school is a ground for raw talent, where the students who excelled in different sporting activities are groomed for future local, national and international competition. When this happen various bodies will want their children to be a partaker in these sporting activities with the view that they may be selected for one competition or the other, the physical education teacher or games master are not left out in this aspect because they use it as an opportunity to showcase their discovered talent, the media are not left out. It is on this background that the researcher investigated into societal influence and students’ participation in secondary school sports.
Societal Influence and Students’ Participation in Secondary School Sports
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Sport participation is an important part of motivation, a period during which participants develop character and learn to handle stress and difficult situations in life. Sport participation enables one to acquire discipline while meeting challenges or facing other individuals physically, mentally, socially and emotionally (Wang, 2001). Sport participation cannot be void of influence, so many things tends to influence participation in sport by one secondary school students. The influence could come from parents, peers, the teachers and the community as a whole.
The poor result in physical and Health Education among Nigerian students, their inability to understand most of the concepts of the subject, poor perception of discipline among the stakeholders, unavailability and poor usage of sporting facilities as well as performance of our athletes at Olympic and common wealth games activities has become a source of working to successive government and major stakeholders in the education and sporting sector in the country. Also, the catch them young programme of sport ministries have not been existed again as evident in zero (0) medals for Nigerian in most global competition.
There has been poor infrastructure and poor utilization of sporting facilities. Their ugly trend may have instigated the current worry among state holders to factors responsible for poor participation of students in sport. This therefore motivated the researcher to investigate the societal influence such as peer group and school location as they affect students’ participation in sport in the study area.