FACTORS INFLUENCING THE LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION AND ACHIEVEMENT OF HUMAN KINETICS STUDENTS IN MALAYSIA
Background of the study
Sport has been fundamental aspect of human existence. From time immemorial, man has been involved actively in sports unknowingly even before he could provide a vocabulary to describe that aspect of his existence. Sport (sports) is all form of usually competitive physical activity which through casual or organized participation aims to use, maintain or improve physical abilities, skills while providing entertainment to the participants and in some cases the spectators. Hundred s of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individual.
Sports is generally recognized as activities which are based on physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competition s such as Olympics games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organizations such as the council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical activities claim recognition as mind sports.
The international Olympic committee (through ARISF) recognizes five non-physical sports, although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports. Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition and allow consistence adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as goals or crossing a line first, or by the determination of judges who are the scoring elements of the sporting performances, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. In organized sports, records of performance are kept at for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sports news. In addition, sports are a major source of entertainment for non- participant, with spectator sports drawing large crowd to the venues, and reaching wider audience through broadcasting. According to A.T Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to 620 billion as at 2013.
Sports contribute invariably to the overall wellbeing of mankind. Through improved way of living and development of man as an individual, man is able to carry out physical activities without stress. Athletes participate in sports for more than one reason. Most athleteshave multiple motives for participation. May lift weights because he wants to tone his body, yet lifting weight also makes one feel god, plus e enjoys the camaraderie of other lifting partners. Also some athletes participate for competition purpose. Competition is a good factor that affects athlete’s participation and achievement.
Another factor is the passion or interest of the athlete in particular sports most likely determine his/her achievement. Also, athlete have both shared and unique motives. Although have both shared and unique motives. Although it is it is possible to identify why athlete participate in sports, motive for participation vary greatly and can be unique to each individual. For example Doyer(1992) assessed college students motives for participation and obtained results similar to those foe young as for athletes. The most important motive for participation was fitness, fun, excitement and challenge and improve skills.
However, the college students rated friendship, achievement status and team factors as less important findings that vary from those in the fitness, fun and friendship as major motives for sports that are more individual such as parental pressure or needing something to do, still others might have highly idiosyncratic motive such as the need to physically dominate other or the experience of calmness they actually derive from competition. Hence people have both shared and unique motives for participation.
Another factor that influences university athlete’s achievement and participation is the time made available by the university to the students for participation in sports, or not. Also, nutrition is an important factor i.e. the food they eat and when they are suppose to eat it and also the intake of sports drinks which help athletes not to stay hydrated during games, matches and races but also to restore depleted glycogen, sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. Also, the presence of trained personnel and physical educator, method of training provision of incentives to the students athletes, presence or availability sports facilities and equipment, provision of implements for sports participation, proper funding of sports program me and motivation by sports personnel and lecturer among others that influence sports participation and achievement among university athletes.
Statement of the problem
In spite of the desire for physical development, coupled with the fact that sports is a very vital activity for all-round development, the poor performance and low level of participation among university athletes have become a source of concern to all stakeholders (personnels, fan, spectators etc) why do athletes perform poorly? Why do we have low participation among university athletes? Does untrained personnel, insufficient or inadequate facilities, equipment, funding, implement and incentives affect athlete’s participation and performance?
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this research is to identify factors influencing the level of sport participation and achievement among university athletes and also to find out effects of trained coaches, nutrition, implement, incentives, facilities, funds and students athletes’ interest on sports participation and achievement.
The following research questions were raised to guide the study;
Does the motivation of the athlete affect participation and achievement?
Are there enough incentives for students to participate in sports?
Does the university system place enough premiums on sports as an integral component of student’s life?
Does the university academics program create enough time for students to participate in sports?
Is the university sports program adequately funded?
Are there quality sports facilities and implements for sports participation?
What necessary changes should be introduced to improve the level of sports participation and achievement among student’s athletes?
Does gender inequality affects s ports participation?
Significance of the study
This study is important due to the following reasons;
Firstly, the findings will be beneficial for coaches and sports administrators, and also university management to put more effort and provide for athletes needs and make use of appropriate strategies to boost the level of sports participation and achievement among student’s athletes.
Secondly, the findings of this study would bring to the notice of the government (for the university) and university management the need to employ trained personnel and physical educators that are efficient and professionally qualified to improve the performance of athletes in relation to achievement.
The findings of this study would highlight the importance of the use of appropriate equipment, facilities, incentives and implements to bring about increased interest in the participation and achievement of sport among athletes.
Scope/delimitation of the study
This research was carried out using athletes in the University of Benin to determine the factors influencing the level of sports participation and achievement among these athletes.
Definitions of terms
In this study, the following terms are used for the purpose of clarity;
Sports: a game, competition or activity needing physical effort and skill for enjoyment and or as job
Athlete: an athlete is someone who trains for and competes in sporting events, s professional or just for fun.
Camaraderie: a sense of trust, loyalty and goodwill that has developed between people who have known each other for a significant period of time.
Personnel: the body of persons employed by or active in an organization, business or services.