ADMINISTRATIVE AND SOCIOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS IN SOUTH EAST GEO- POLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA
Background to the Study
Sports is an integral part of physical education which involves training of the mind and body through physical activities. Participation in sports and recreation serves as a medium for developing desirable attitudes and behaviours essential for one’s wellbeing and for improving performance, among others. So, sports should be food for all.
In order to ensure sports for all; “the sports for all movement” was adopted in the mid-1970s in Europe. According to Fu (1998), The concept of sports for all was adopted in Europe as a long term objective by the council of Europe, and was aimed at encouraging the population at large to become more active in sports. The concept of sports for all was an attempt to eradicate all the discriminations and dominations in sports and to declare it an entitlement for everybody. With regard to women participation in sports, this concept as an ideal seems to have proved difficult to be achieved in reality in some countries of the world.
The involvement of women in sports continues to be a concern for researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines. Attracting and retaining women in sports because of health and obesity concerns (Brustad, 1996), adolescent risk protective factors (Guest & Schneider, 2003),the need to challenge gendered assumptions (Claringbould & Knoppers, 2008), and the need to improve the under representation of women in coaching and sports administration (Acosta & Carpenter, 2006),have been some of the special concerns of many researchers. In all cases, investigators seem to have been interested in uncovering the factors related to the enduring involvement of women in sports and physical activity.
Administration is the way an organization, through working with people, makes decisions and initiates actions to achieve its purposes and goals. This refers to a human activity involving the functions or tasks to be performed, the formal organization within which administration must operate, the work group or groups with which the administration must be concerned and the leader or leaders within the organization. According to Asagba (1992), administration is the means by which common goals are achieved through cooperative efforts. Nwankwo (1996) is of the opinion that administration is the process of working through others to efficiently accomplish organizational goals.
Sports administration according to Uwa & Ogu (2007) are activities carried out in sports organisation with the sole aim of harnessing functions and responsibilities of position holders so that goals and objectives of sports organization can be achieved with minimal strain and maximum efficiency. Sports administration in essence requires close supervision of the facilities, materials, supplies and equipment essential to the life of sports as an organization. It also implies a local formulation of policies and effective operation of the organization. In sports, administrative positions take different shapes. They include coaches, sport psychologists, officials in the sports ministry, Directors of sports and physical education personnel. Sports administration therefore, involves the process of planning, directing, organizing, evaluating and controlling all the activities of a group for effective achievement of the stated objectives of the sports industry.
In order to ensure total development in sports and in order to achieve sports for all, there must be effective and efficient sports administration which operates in efficient sports organization, an administration capable of organizing sports without discriminations, attempting to eradicate dominations in sports and making it open for all. Onohwakpor (2008), states that sports organization entails the responsibilities of administering sports in terms of scouting for and grooming of athletes, training coaches, provision of facilities and equipment, sourcing and managing funds, records and information management, personnel and other allied matters. In essence, efficient sports organization begets effective sports administration. The writer further states that effective organization of sports therefore is important for promoting excellence in the field of sports by arranging physical activity programmes for all categories of people without discriminations and encouraging mass participation in physical activity and all forms of sports from the grassroots level with a view to discovering budding talents.
The Sociological factors refer to society and its influence. The influence takes place through the process known as Socialization which is used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, politicians and educationists to refer to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating in activities within their own society; a society itself is formed through a plurality of shared norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Socialization is thus the means by which social and cultural continuity is attained.
At birth, infants need to be socialized into the culture of the society by their parents, teachers, and others. The general process of acquiring culture is referred to as socialization (Dennis O’Neil, 2009). During socialization, people learn the language of the culture they are born into as well as the roles they are to play in life. For instance, girls learn how to be daughters, sisters, friends, wives, and mothers. In addition, they learn about the occupational roles that society has in stock for them. People also learn and usually adopt our culture’s norms through the socialization process.
It is evident that society influences its members to learn and adopt attitudes, which are acceptable in each culture. During infancy, childhood and adolescence, attitudes, are formed through interaction with the world. According to Sanstroern as cited in Davies (1996), the adoption of attitudes and behaviours in relation to sports is often associated with the need to be accepted by parents, community, and the society interacted with on daily basis. Harris (1994) states that the family is generally responsible for early sports socialization, and interest in sports is often preceded by the parent’s interest.
Globally, researchers have noted that the cultural beliefs, socializing agents such as family, media, religion and peer groups, nature of sports administration, status of the economy and misconceptions directly or indirectly influence women on daily basis in their choice to either participate in sports or not. Ikhioya (1999) reported that women in Nigerian universities are not active in sports due to their beliefs that involvement in sports is not conducive to their physical wellbeing. Dike (2005) and Okonkwor (2000) also presented factors that negatively influence the female undergraduates’ participation in sports as: academic pressure; body weight; personality factors such as lack of interest; level of skill, development of masculine characteristics and accessibility to facilities. In the same vein, Okonkwor(2002) concluded that psychological, societal and cultural biases play vital roles in women getting involved in competitive sports and that culture and religions are almost inseparable in their effects on women’ participation in sports. Women Participation in Sports, according to Okonkwor (2005), is retarded by imaginary health problems and physical misconceptions. Ajayi (2002) noted that gender role discrimination is also one of the factors that hinder effective participation of our females in sports.
Although participation in sports is not compulsory, there is need to ensure that the population at large, men and women alike experience the benefits prevalent in sports. This can only be achieved by pin pointing those variables that act as negative determinants to participation especially as it pertains to women. This is because available research findings from Adeyanju (2005),
Ikhioya (1999) and Okonkwor (2002) indicated that though there have been transformations in women’s sports in Nigeria, great changes are yet to be observed. In the light of all these, the researcher is prompted by the fact that there are still some gaps to be filled concerning women participation in sports.
Statement of the Problem
Researchers observed that women are poorly represented in sports as players, coaches, advisers and as team administrators. The under-representation of women in sports remains an issue of national concern. According to Adeyanju (2005),observation of who is actively involved in sports in Nigeria generally indicated that males constitute the greatest number either as players, coaches and administrators. Okonkwor (2002) and Adeyanju (2005), indicate that though there has been transformations in women’s sports in Nigeria, great changes are yet to be observed. In essence women participation in sports in Nigeria is not yet adequate.
Most of the Igbo women in South East geo-political zone of Nigeria, engage in farming, traditional games such as dance and do well in house chores, that they now see them as forms of sports. It seems that Some women are still under the influence of the long existing culture which presents women as: chattels; as those who should not engage in physical/strenuous activities and those who should not express themselves. As a result, some women show apathy to sports and do not take sports as a priority in spite of the benefits in sports participation. Therefore there is need to ensure continued positive changes in behaviours toward women participation in active sports. Women involvement in sports should be improved. It was on the basis of this submission that this study has been undertaken.
There is evidence in the literature concerning sociological factors of women participation in sports. There is not much evidence, however concerning the administrative and sociological determinants that deter women participation in sports among Igbo women of South Eastern Nigeria. The problem of this study is derived from this apparent gap in knowledge and the worthwhileness of empirical data in this regard as a means of promoting the desired women participation in sports.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the negative administrative and sociological determinants of women participation in sports in South East Geo- Political Zone of Nigeria. Specifically this study aims at ascertaining the extent of:
- 1. Sports equipment / facilities as negative determinants of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- 2. Quality of sports personnel as a negative determinant of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- 3. Level of funding of sports as a negative determinant of women
Participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- Rewards offered/ incentives as negative determinants of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- Peer group influence as a negative determinant of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- Family background as a negative determinant of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
- Religion influence as a negative determinant of women participation in sports in South East Geo Political zone of Nigeria.
Significance of the Study
This study has created an awareness of the Administrative and sociological determinants of women participation in sports. Hopefully this would contribute towards helping the government desire for the improvement of women participation in sports.
This study contains useful information, which can put systems into place for nurturing women interest in sports and eventually have more Nigerian women (especially women from the South East geo-political zone) representing the country at an international level. This is possible if the government imbibe the recommendations made from the findings of the study.
The results of this study could provide useful data for enunciating appropriate policies concerning women participation in sports in the South East geo-political zone and Nigeria in general to meet international standard.
Changing negative attitudes of people regarding women sports participants might be one way of promoting women in the field of sports. The information gathered from this study would to a great extent help in achieving this if this research work is exposed in the school library shelf and on Internet for people’ consumption.
It is also hoped that the result of the study would provide vital and useful information that will improve sports administration and management in Nigeria, as regards, the administrators ensuring that domination and discriminations do not prevail in sports especially as pertains to rewarding and motivating the athletes.
This study will be relevant to students and lecturers in the department of Human Kinetics and Health Education and other sports related departments in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria who can embark on further research on administrative and sociological determinants of women participation in sports, in other setting
Scope of the Study
The study investigated the administrative determinants of women participation in sports such as sports facilities and equipment; qualities of sports personnel; funding of sports and reward offered/incentives then sociological determinants of women participation in sports such as peer group influence; family background; and religious influence. The study is delimited to the female athletes and female officials of the five States (Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia State) that make up the South East geo political zone of Nigeria.
The following research questions guided the study;
- To what extent are sports equipment/facilities perceived to be negative determinants of women participation in sports in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria?
- To what extent are sports personnel believed to be negative determinant of women participation in sports in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria?
- To what extent is funding perceived to be negative determinant of women participation in sports in south east zone of Nigeria?
- What is the extent to which rewards/incentives in sports are perceived to be negative determinants of women participation in sports in south east zone of Nigeria?
- To what extent are peer group Influences perceived to be negative determinants of women participation in sports in south east zone of Nigeria?
- What is the extent to which family background is perceived to be negative determinant of women participation in sports in south east zone of Nigeria?
- To what extent is religion perceived to be negative determinant of women participation in sports in south east zone of Nigeria?
The following null hypotheses which were tested at 0.05 level of significance were formulated to guide the study.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perceptions of sports equipment/facilities as negative determinants of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perceptions of sports personnel as negative determinant of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perceptions of funding as a negative determinant of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perceptions of rewards/incentives as negative determinants of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perceptions of influences from peer group as negative determinants of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perception of family background as a negative determinant of women participation in sports.
- There is no significant difference in the mean scores of athletes and sports officials in their perception of religion as a negative determinant of women participation in sports.
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