Primary School Pupil Participation In Sports And Its Influence on Teaching And Learning

Primary School Pupil Participation In Sports And Its Influence on Teaching And Learning in Owerri Municipal Council


Background to the Study

Sports started with the beginning of life and it is used for different purposes in time. Sports are the activities involving power and skills, competition, strategy, chance and engaged in for the enjoyment, satisfaction and personal gain (such as income) of the participant, and others (e.g., spectators), including organized and recreational sports, as well as sports as entertainment (Ocal, 2006). Students’ engagement in sports is known to contribute to the developmental outcomes for ahealthy lifestyle, where they learn about social and cognitive skills (Choi et al, 2014).More broadly, engagement in sports is also recognized to contribute a range of positive outcomes, specifically; physical and mental, social wellbeing, cognitive and academic performance(Bailey et al, 2013). In order for school children to achieve such performance, it is recognized thatphysical educationin schools is an ideal vehicle to promote sports due to its availability to all young people.Whilst teachers alsohave opportunity to integrate into the overall education process (Telford et al 2012).The success in physical education may give confidence and assurance in the academic realm if the confidence is treated in a supportive and encouraging ways at the secondary stage; it should be made more applicable and attractive to students in order to give physical education a better status within the educational system. The tailoring of the physical education curriculum and programmes to meet the student needs can do much to help the accomplishment of the aims of physical education within the educational system, but it can also aid the perspectives which are presented to society in general (Kanan, 2006)

The Educationists and social scientists have been working since to determine the relationshipbetween sports and education. The research reveals a positive impact of sports and physical activities on education; and also in the academic enhancement of its participants, and a far-famed saying ‘Sound mind in a sound body’ referring to the potential quality of sports in the intellectual development of its participants seems to be endorsed. The research studies substantiate a positive relation between sports participation and mental health. It has been found that sports and physical activities raise the level of alertness.

Sports  nature is grounded in  movement,games, and physical education which itself to a high rate of teacher-student interactions. The nature of these interactions may be a leading factor in a student’s perception of sports. Sport activities ameliorate the working capacity of crucial body systems and improve the degree of alertness among participants. Sports activities not only leave a positive impact on mood, but also increase mental alertness (Hills, 1998) and it is quite apparent that physically and mentally alert students always perform better, achieve more (Taras, 2005) and like to remain present in their classes. It has been noticed that sportsmen orwomen show better results in Maths, English,(Broh, 2002), and science subjects (Nelson, 2006).

Din (2006) conducted a study to ascertain the effects of sports activities on academic development of its participants in high schools of rural areas. The role of sport participation on the academic performance of students has been a topic of debate for decades. Supporters of sport programs argue that sport participation improves students’ academic performance. The quality of students’ performance remains at top priority for educators. It is meant for making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively for quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside and outside school that affect students’ quality of academic achievement. These factors may be termed as; student factors, family factors, school environment and peer influence (Crosnoe, Johnson & Elder, 2004). Students’ grades keeps them in school, raises their educational aspirations, increased students’ overall interest and commitment to schooling as well as their engagement in more student-teacher relationship, more positive attitudes about schooling, and more parent-school relationship. In previous years, researchers have conducted several studies to know the relationship of secondary school sports participation on academics performance but Broh (2002) said little evidences are present on this topic.

It is evident that physical education has been associated with a variety of health benefits in both adults and children. Being physically fit reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and obesity ( Hillman et al., 2008) and improves psychological variables including depressions, anxiety and stress (Eveland-Seyers et al., 2009). In addition to the health analysis of physical fitness a growing body of literature has linked sport, physical activities with improved brain function, cognition, and academic performance (Davis et al., 2007 Tomporowski et al., 2008, Shelton, 2009).The compatibility of sports and academics still leaves a greater number of the general public with a considerable amount of skeptics. While some people question the position of sports ineducational programmes,others attribute poor performance in academics to sport participation.

Extracurricular activities including school sports are sometimes referred to as students’ activities or co-curricular activities.Sports play very important roles in educational institutions in virtually all parts of the world, and the contribution of sports to the educational process in institutions cannot be overemphasized (Ongong’a, Okwara, &Okello, 2010). School sport is part of the educational process formed by the combination of the competitive characteristic of sports and the educational characteristic of physical education. School sport activities support and directs the academic mission of schools and it is more than an extension of a good educational programmes (Öcal, 2006).Sports means athletic activitiesinvolving physical exertion and skill of the athlete in its performance within the context of formal rules of behavior (Olumba, 2009). The athlete engages in the activity for pleasure, attainment of physical, mental, social health and for enjoyment of other intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. Sports participation is the act of taking part in athletic activities.

The term academic performance howeverrefers to the act or process of performing the task of academic activities. It is the way and means through which students and teachers carry out their academic activities. However, in this research, the terms will be looked at in the perspective of how students conduct orperform their academic activities. Sports participation and academicperformance relate to the influence of participation in sports and its effects on the academic performance of students.

The prevalent fear ravaging the minds of majorityof the general public is that participation hinders the success of their wards, in the entire process of teaching and learning at schools. This misconception was based on their assumption that children who participate in sports can never do well at school. Davis and Cooper (2004) observed that the most common point of attack against organized athletic activities in school is that most people believe that sports have no positive relationship with academics.Some parents or guardians for obvious reasons associated sports with mischievous behaviors and juvenile delinquency (Thorlindson and Bernburg, 2006). Factors which contribute to students’ dropout from school emanate from parents andguardians, such as inadequate financial support and bad attitude towards their wards’ education. Those emanating from students are violating the school rules and regulations, frustration due to failure to study hard and failing in examinations. The factors emanating from the administrative and managerial processes are not even consideredas serious factors capable of terminatingacademic career of children as participatingin sports is being considered.(Bowen, Rose,Power andGlennie, (2008). Many researchers have investigated sports participation and its influence on academic performance although the results are conflicting (Feldman and Matjasko, 2005).According to Broh (2002), participation in sports activities in general, is associated with an improved, higher educational aspiration, increased college attendance, and reduced absenteeism.

In most schools, principals fail to recognize the existence of the games masters where they exist hence, misappropriatingfunds allocated for sports in the school interscholastic competitions. As a result, students are being exploited by giving themonly plastic cups as prizes during competitions instead of concrete items. Other factors include unavailability of sportsfacilities and equipment in schools due to inadequate provision of funds. Most schools do not acquire enough land that willaccommodate sports facilities and those old schools who have enough land and adequate sports facilities have shared areas of landmeant for volley ball court and some other related activities for farming activities among teachers. It is regrettable that the only sports facility that is still maintaining its position in schools is the football field. However, from personal observation and experience, only oneor probably two out of ten schools can boastof buying one football (soccer ball) for their students in two years.It is in the light of addressing these odds that the researcher decided to investigate the relationship between sports and academics.

While Akpe (1991) established that students who participate in sports have high cognitive domain and perform better academically than those who do not participate. Ogu (2002)failed to produce reliable results in that he used only respondents who participate in sports. The fact that regular physical activities asnoted by Bauman, (2004) have mental and social health benefits as the basis of achieving academic excellence is still like a fantasy tothe parents especially  those in Kwara State . The students of secondary schools in this area have been chosenbecause of their suitability in the sense that the area is remote and underdeveloped (rural area) and the respondents are children ofages 11-17 years. For reasonable developments and improvements in both academics and sports to be made in the rural areas, children or students of the age mentioned above must be the target.


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • Abstracts
  • Background of the Study
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Research Questions
  • Research Hypotheses
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
  • Delimitation of the Study
  • Operational Definition of Terms
  • Introduction
  • Benefits of school sports to the participants
  • Peer Influence on students’ academic performance
  • Sufficient qualified and professional coaches
  • Physical education as part of school extracurricular activity
  • Attitude of students towards sport participation
  • Parental influence on sports participation
  • The influence of sports participation on academic performance
  • Appraisal of Reviewed Literature
  • Introduction
  • Research Design
  • Population of the Study
  • Sample and Sampling Technique
  • Research Instrument
  • Validity of the Instrument
  • Reliability of the Instruments
  • Procedure for Data Collection
  • Method of Data Analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion of the Findings
  • Summary
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix I
  • Appendix II
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