INFLUENCE OF NIGERIA TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS PARTICIPATION AND ELITISM IN NIGERIA SPORTING CULTURE
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This research work was on the influence of Nigeria tertiary institutions on the development of sports participation and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture. The purpose of the study was to examine whether Nigeria tertiary institutions have any significant influence on the development of sports participation and elitism in Nigeria. The population for this study was drawn from all the tertiary institutions in Nigeria namely Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. The research adopted the ex-post facto research design in the conduct of this study. This was because the information needed for this research was already in existence and cannot be manipulated. A self-designed questionnaire was vetted and pilot tested. One thousand four hundred and twenty-eight (1428) questionnaire were distributed to the identified respondents in the selected tertiary institutions. The data collected for the research was subjected to statistical analysis in which descriptive statistics involving frequency count, percentages for the analysis of the demographic characteristics mean, standard deviation and standard error was computed for each of the item in the instrument to answer the research questions. Hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistic test of independence to determine differences in opinion of respondents as to whether tertiary institutions in Nigeria have influence on the development of sports participation, and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture. All hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of tolerance. The study found out that, there was no significant influence of Nigeria tertiary institutions on the development of sports participation in Nigeria sporting culture hence, . However, it was found out that there was a significant influence of Nigeria tertiary institutions on the development of elitism in Nigeria sporting culture
hence, . It was therefore, recommended that a joint monitoring committee involving students and staff of tertiary institutions, and members of the host communities be set up to encourage greater participation of both members of the tertiary institutions and those of the host communities. Through this, the tertiary institutions will influence sports participation in Nigeria. Youths and other members of the host communities should make all sports facilities in the tertiary institutions open for use. The government and the tertiary institutions should award scholarship to students and youths in the host communities who excel in competitive sports. This would enable them to study courses of their choice as means of motivation to take to elite sports.
1.1 Background of the Study
It is an undeniable fact that sports is the dependable tool for development, health and peace of a nation (Venkateswarlu, 2006a). The Federal Government of Nigeria realises these potentials of sports to contribute to the national development, when it emphasis the need to promote sports in all sectors. In its – strategic plan for the development of the education sector –(2011 – 2015), government directed that sport participation should be encouraged at all levels of education through the provision of facilities, equipment and personnel for the promotion of health, development of skills, and socio – emotional wellbeing of all the age brackets in our educational institutions (Federal Ministry of Education, 2012). In fact, the United Nations general assembly adopted resolution 58/5 titled ―sports as means to promote education, health, development and peace.‖Furthermore, it proclaimed year 2005 as the ―International Year of Sports and Physical Education and urged all nations of the world to take a deliberate steps towards ensuring that sport is given a befitting place in their developmental programmes as a panacea for development (United Nations (UN), 2003; 2006).
In view of the established benefits of sports, Educational Institutions in Nigeria in adherence to the directives of the Federal Government have been encouraging students‘ participations in different sporting activities through provision of facilities, equipment training personnel and opportunities of participation in various sporting competitions such as intra-mural and extra-mural schools sports as well as local, national and international competitions. The main objectives of such participation are to promote health, fitness and performance of students (Ladani 2008; Venkateswarlu, 2006a). This has been especially evident in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, in which different types of intra-mural and extra-mural competitions are organised.
In order to understand and appreciate such Programmes, it is necessary to understand the concept of sport. The word ―sport‖ is a broad term and as well flexible such that, it includes a variety of sporting activities that have received support from a wide range of organisations involved in sports development. In addition, sports include non-formal, involuntary and leisure time play activities. It is therefore, the opinion of this researcher that it is much easier to hold a more fluid and non-dogmatic view on what do or do not constitute sports, especially in view of the ever-changing scenario in the world of sports and recreation. social development of the participants. This includes play, leisure and recreation activities, casual and competitive sports, and indigenous sports and games. Sport for developmeAccording to Venkateswarlu (2006) the above concept is in line with the view of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force (2003), that sports includes all forms of physical activities that contributes to the psychological, physical and not involves the utilisation of the power of sport to build on the values of development, like equity, inclusion and sustainability, promotion of development of children, social inclusion, cohesion and contribution to health, education and economic development. It can be used to open new awareness for forming partnership than very essential to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (UN Inter-Agency Task Force Report, 2003; Venkateswarlu, 2006).
Rodger (2002) argued that sports have four essential elements. Physical activity is undertaken for a recreation (that is non-obligated) purpose and this takes place within a framework of organized competition that is regulated in an institutional setting. However, despite the practical context, the boundaries between activities remain blurred. For example, many sports are undertaken as a professional activity, which implies that they are not recreational. Activities other than team sports, such as swimming and cycling may take place under similar competitive and non-institutional environment. In this regard, they could be viewed as ―recreation‖ sports, in so much as formal rules of competition are not followed. Finally, leisure activities may embrace reading, watching the television, visiting or indeed spectatorship at professional sports encounters. They are neither competitive, rule bound, nor physical activities. Walking and gardening are both physical activities, often undertaken for recreational purposes. Walking as illustrated below is often included in sports participation surveys by government and other agencies, but gardening is not sport. For example, Sport England (a sport organisation) has recently classified darts as sport, and that chess is not. However, the International Olympic Committee recognises that chess is a sport. In this regard, its governing body must ensure that its statues, practice and activities conform to the Olympic Charter. It is clear that in practice sports do not have a predetermined definition. It requires that one should always bear in mind the context in which the term ―sports‖, ―recreation‖, ―leisure‖ and physical activity are used. However, for the purpose of this research, the definition of sport by Paul (2009) and his friends, which define sport as ―all forms of physical activities which, through causal or organic participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition‖, will be adopted as the operational definition of sports. This definition will support and encourage mass sport participation more than a technically rigid definition.
The spread and development of Western sports in Nigeria got a boost through the missionaries. On arrival, the missionaries established schools all over the country, particularly in the southern parts of the country. As these schools were established, British sports were also introduced to these schools. Competitive track and field sports were introduced into primary schools in Nigeria through the Empire day celebration usually held every year on May 24th to commemorate the birth of Queen Victoria. Ladani further stressed that the establishment of more secondary schools and Teachers‘ Training Colleges contributed tremendously to the spread and development of modern sports in Nigeria. Through the activities of these educational institutions, Nigerians began to see the values and joy of taking part in sports and their increase participation met with greater support by both the colonial administration and Nigeria citizens. The history of the development and spread of modern sports cannot be complete without a tribute to the role of educational institutions, particularly at the tertiary levels (Ladani, 2008).
Kabido (2001) noted that universities have been centres of intellectual pursuit and scholarship and university authorities have opposed strongly to anything that might detract them from this purpose. This single-minded academic tradition has persisted inviolate to the present day in most nations of the world. Nevertheless, students have not always shared the faculties‘ devotion to this exclusive philosophy of scholarship. Even during medieval times, university students sporadically played games and sports in defiance of restrictions and under threat of punishment. Around 1800, students at University in England and the United States began to take up sports and games more persistently though in an informal manner. During this period, devotees of a sport would form a club or association, and it was this development, which was a necessary forerunner to the more organized inter-university competition, which began with a Cricket meet in 1827, between Oxford and Cambridge. Similar development also took place in American Colleges. In 1852, the Rowing club from Harvard and Yale met in the first inter-collegiate match to be held in the United States. Until 1880s, all of these competitions were conducted entirely by students themselves who raised the money, scheduled the games, and provided their own coaching, as was the case in England (Kabido, 2001).
In Australia, universities contributed so much to the development of sports in respect to mass participation and elitist sports. Through formation of Sports Clubs run by students, the sporting life of Australian was greatly influenced. As at 2004, there were more than 60 Sports Clubs affiliated to the University of Sydney and that, the University of Sydney alone produced 45 athletes from Sydney University Clubs, which represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games (Geogakis, 2006).
The National Union of Nigeria students in the late 1950s comprising of Universities, the Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and the Advance Teachers‘ Colleges, which are tertiary institutions of learning, gave impetus to joint sporting activities. This later developed into the Nigeria University Games (NUGA), the Nigeria Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA) and the Nigeria Advanced Teachers‘ College and Colleges of Education Games Association (NATCEGA) now known as Nigeria Colleges of Education Games Association (NICEGA). Like their foreign counterparts, these Nigeria institutions have been very active in sporting activities in the country through their participation in the various association games, the National Sport Festivals, West African University Games, All Africa Games and many others (Omoruan, 1996).
1.2 Theoretical Framework
The Psychological theory of ―planned behaviour‖ propounded by Ajzen in 1985 as an extension of the theory of reasoned and action, which states that personal attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, together shape an individual‘s intentions and behaviour, is the theoretical framework upon which this study is based. Sport participation is therefore a planned behaviour aimed at attaining personal or communal goals. It is a deliberate action reasoned toward tailoring the behaviour of a particular population toward a specified direction for achieving some specific goals. The theory of planned behaviour specifies the nature of relationships between beliefs and attitudes. According to these models, people‘s evaluations of or attitudes toward behaviour are determined by their accessible beliefs about the behaviour, where a belief is defined as the subjective probability that the behaviour will produce certain out come. Specifically, the evaluation of each outcome contributes to the attitude in direct proportion to the person‘s subjective possibility that the behaviour produces the outcome in question (Fishbone & Ajzen, 1975).
It has often been argued that Physical activity and sports, health and quality of life are closely interconnected since the human body was designed to move and therefore needs regular physical activity in order to function optimally and avoid illness. It has been proved by scholars (Coleman, 1961; Hartmann, 2008) that a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for the development of many chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, a main cause of death in the Western world including the developing nations. Furthermore, living an active life according to (Trudeau & Shepard, 2008) brings many other social and psychological benefits and there is a direct link between physical activity as planned behaviour and life expectancy, so that physically active populations tend to live longer than inactive ones. They further maintained that sedentary people who become more physically active report feeling better from both a physical and a mental point of view, and enjoy a better quality of life. Hanks & Eckland (1976) also submitted that the human body, because of regular physical activity, undergoes morphological and functional changes, which can prevent or delay the appearance of certain illnesses and improve our capacity for physical effort. At present, there is sufficient evidence to show that those who live a physically active life can gain a number of health benefits, including the following:
- A reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Prevention and/or delay of the development of arterial hypertension, and improved control of arterial blood pressure in individuals who suffer from high blood pressure.
- Good cardio-pulmonary function.
- Maintained metabolic functions and low incidence of type 2 diabetes.
- Increased fat utilisation, which can help to control weight, lowering the risk of obesity.
- A lowered risk of certain cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon cancer.
- Improved mineralization of bones in young ages, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in older ages.
- Improved digestion and regulation of the intestinal rhythm.
- Maintenance and improvement in muscular strength and endurance, resulting in an increase in functional capacity to carry out activities of daily living.
- Maintained motor functions including strength and balance.
- Maintained cognitive functions and lowered risk of depression and dementia.
- Lower stress levels and associated improved sleep quality.
- Improved self-image, self-esteem, increased enthusiasm, and optimism.
- Decreased absenteeism (sick leave) from work.
- In very old adults, a lower risk of falling and prevention or delaying of chronic illnesses associated with ageing.
These benefits/reasons motivated a planned behavioural pattern to achieve these great health values as belief by the individual or the entire community. According to theorists like Green & Houlihan, (2005) the promotion of mass participation in sport, as a form of physical activity, is now firmly on the public policy agenda in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.(1). The health and well-being of citizens form part of popular discourse, evidenced by repeated references to “obesity” epidemics in the media and indicated by the establishment of new policies, policy agents, or a refocusing of previous efforts to address this issue. For example, in some developed countries of the world, (United State, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea) a new central government Ministry for Public Health has been established to work in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, the Department for Education and Skills, and sports delivery bodies to raise participation. This is indicative of a more general pattern in most economies though tensions in policy priorities do exist. The propositions of these theorists form the basis upon which the present study is predicated.
1.3 Statement of the problem
In the early centuries when university authorities particularly in England were against participation in sports by university students believing what matters was scholarship, students have not always shared the faculties‘ devotion to exclusive philosophy of scholarship and university students continued to play games and sports sporadically in defiance of restrictions and under threat of punishment ( Kabido, 2001). However, the concept of scholarship before other things as preferred by the university authorities did not go too far when the wind of mass sport participation blew across Europe and other parts of the world because of the industrial revolution and world wars in the later century. The persistent attitude of students towards sports participation in Europe and the United States has been responsible for the development of sports that led to good organisation and participation in games and sports among institutions of higher learning in Europe and the United States between the sixteen and eighteenth centuries. This attitude of European and American students toward sports has greatly influenced the general public participation in sports in the United States and European countries (Bitrus, 2005). It is amusing that the university authorities who vehemently opposed anything to do with students participation in sports in the early centuries are now in the fore front encouraging university and college students to participate actively in sports. Today, Students of tertiary institutions in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world are known to have contributed significantly to the development of sports in their respective countries with respect to sports participation and elitist sport. This development was a credit to the students for their roles in creation of sports clubs that did not only benefit the students but the public at large. In addition, students in Britain created awareness for participation in sports as it was attested that wherever a British graduate went, he went with his sports (Ahmed 1992; Bitrus, 2005). This is true because it was reported that students who graduated from British institutions took sports to their communities through the establishment of sports clubs. The spread of western sports to Nigeria also came through some British graduates who were sent to serve the colonial administration or the missionaries (Ladani, 2008).
Also in the United States students organised and participated actively in sporting activities, this led to greater awareness and enthusiasm in sport participation among Americans. With the colonisation of most African States, schools were established all over these states. Western sports immediately spread to these schools and continued until date.
The participation of Nigeria institutions in sporting activities has a long history. According to Ladani (2008) it began with Empire day celebration to commemorate the birth of Queen Victoria of England and grew into schools sports where athletic, football and netball competitions were organised for primary, secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges. With the establishment of a University College in Ibadan in 1948 and other tertiary institutions later, sports became a very serious social activity that dominated the leisure of students in these tertiary institutions (Fafunwa, 1975; Bitrus, 2005).
According to Omoruan (1996; Bitrus 2005) the former National Union of Nigeria Students in the late fifties comprising of Universities, the Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and the Advanced Teachers‘ Colleges gave impetus to their joint sporting activities. However, with the later increase in the number of these institutions and number of students coupled with financial and administrative constraints, it soon became necessary that each should go its own way. As a result, there emerged the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA), the Nigeria Polytechnic Games Association (NIPOGA) and Nigeria Colleges of Education Games Association (NATCEGA). The sporting activities of Nigeria students in the tertiary institutions through these Sports Associations and similar bodies at continental and global level have no doubt projected the sporting might of these students beyond the shores of Nigeria. This situation is believed to have created awareness and enthusiasm for sports participation among Nigerians as was the case with Australia. Apart from the fact that these tertiary institutional sports created an opportunity for interaction, love and exchange of ideas among Nigerian students in the tertiary institutions, it also serves as an avenue for the development of elite sports men and women who aspired for excellence in sports performance. In addition, it also serves as a pool from which the nation‘s national and international athletes and administrators are drawn. Gouws (1997) stated that institutional sports played a dominant role in the development of sports in Nigeria, and that through these institutional sports, athletes for national and international competitions were discovered. On the other hand, students of tertiary institutions have played an important role in the development of sports in Nigeria through their organisations of sports programmes among the various campuses. For instance, NUGA, NIPOGA and NATCEGA, are the products of the Association of Nigeria Students.
Despite these achievements by the Nigeria tertiary institutions in sports it thus appears that the participation of the generality of Nigerians in sports is not encouraging and the development of elite athletes in sports is equally not growing as expected. This is occasioned by the fact that athletes already discovered are being used repeatedly. This seems to be evidenced that the tertiary institutions in Nigeria are no longer influencing sports participation and development of elite athletes in Nigeria sporting culture as it ought to be. This scenario prompted the researcher to undertake a study on the influence of Nigeria tertiary institutions in the development of sports participation and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
1.4 Research questions:
Based on the above statement of the problem, the following research questions were raised:
- Does Nigeria tertiary institutions influenced the development of sports participation and elitism among Nigerian athletes?
- Do Nigeria tertiary institutions influence the development of sports participation in Nigeria sporting culture?
- Does Nigeria tertiary institutions influenced the development of elitism in Nigeria sporting culture?
- Does Nigeria tertiary institutions influenced the development of sports infrastructure in Nigeria?
1.5 Purpose of the study
To successfully conduct this research, the researcher set forth to achieve the following purposes:
- The study examined whether Nigeria tertiary institutions has significantly influence the development of sports participation and elitism in Nigerian sporting culture.
- This study established whether Nigeria tertiary institutions have influenced the development of sports participation in Nigeria sporting culture.
- This study found out whether Nigeria tertiary institutions have significantly Influence the development of elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
- This study found out whether the Nigeria tertiary institutions have Significantly influence the development of sports infrastructure in Nigeria.
- This research confounds whether Nigeria tertiary institutions have influence the development of interest in sports participation among the youths of Nigeria.
1.6 Basic assumptions:
For the purpose of this research, the following statements of basic assumptions were made:
- That Nigeria tertiary institutions contributes to the development of mass sports participation and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
- That Nigeria tertiary institutions contributes to the development of mass sport participation in Nigeria.
- That Nigeria tertiary institutions contributes to the development of elite athletes in Nigeria.
- That Nigeria tertiary institutions contributes to the development of sports infrastructure in Nigeria.
- That Nigeria tertiary institutions contributes to the development of interest in sport participation by Nigeria youths.
- Tertiary institutions influenced the development of interest in sports participation among the youths in Nigeria?
The following hypotheses have been postulated for this study:
Nigeria tertiary institutions have no significant influence on the development of sports participation and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
- Nigeria tertiary institutions have no significant influence on the development of sports participation in Nigeria sporting culture.
- Nigeria tertiary institutions have no significant influence on the development of elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
- Nigeria tertiary institutions have no significant influence on the development of infrastructure for sports in Nigeria sporting culture.
- Nigeria tertiary institutions have no significant influence on the development of interest in sports participation by Nigeria youths.
1.8 Significance of the study
At the end of this research, it is hoped that the following values will be brought forth:
- The study can help Nigeria tertiary institutions understand whether they have any influence on the development of sports participation in Nigeria sporting culture or not.
- This study can enable Nigerians ascertain the contributions of Nigeria tertiary institutions in the development of elite athletes in Nigeria.
- This research adds to the body of knowledge in the area of sports participation and elitism in Nigeria sporting culture.
- The study can also help stakeholders in the sport industry understand and appreciate the contributions of Nigeria tertiary institutions in the development of sports in Nigeria with a view to giving more support to sports among the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
- Through this study, it is hoped that Nigeria public can appreciate the contributions of tertiary institutions in the development of sports in Nigeria.
1.9 Delimitation of the study
This research is delimited to the influence of Nigeria tertiary Institutions in the Development of Sports Participation and Elitism in Nigeria Sporting Culture. The research focused on Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics in Nigeria based on their level of participation in sports. Questionnaire was the main instrument used for this study, which covered the whole of the country.
1.10 Limitation of the study
Though the researcher assured the respondents of confidentiality of their responses, some still did not respond to some of the items on the questionnaire.In addition, strike action by the Academic staff of Nigeria Polytechnics and the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities during the conduct of this research was another limitation to this study. These limitations affected the researcher in terms of time and finance.
INFLUENCE OF NIGERIA TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS PARTICIPATION AND ELITISM IN NIGERIA SPORTING CULTURE