This study was designed to find out the knowledge level and attitude of secondary school students towards intramural sports programme in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State. Eight specific objectives and corresponding research questions were posed to guide the study. Four null hypotheses were formulated for verification. The socio-demographic factors considered were gender and age. Literature pertinent to the study were reviewed. A sample size of 300 subjects was drawn from the selected secondary schools; which adopted the cross-sectional survey research design and multistage sampling technique. The structured researcher-designed questionnaire served as the instrument for data collection. Trial-to trial (split half) method was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument on 20 subjects. Spearman’s rank order correlation formula was used to calculate the reliability of items of the instrument. The reliability coefficient of .86 was established. The chi-square (χ2) statistic was used to test hypotheses 1 and 2 while t-test statistic were used to verify hypotheses 3and 4 at .05 level of significance. Only data from 297 respondents who duly completed the questionnaire were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) batch system. Percentages, level of knowledge in terms of very high, high and low level, positive and negative attitude were used to answer the research questions. The results of the data analyzed indicated that secondary school students have high level of knowledge of intramural sports programme in Table 1. Secondary school students have high level of knowledge of intramural sports activities in Table 2. Secondary school students have high level of knowledge of importance of participating in intramural sport programme in Table 3. Attitude of secondary school students towards intramural sports were highly accepted and positive in Table 4. Gender influenced to an extent; the level of knowledge of the concept of intramural sports programme in Table 5. Age influenced to an extent the level of knowledge of the concept of intramural sports programme in Table 6. Gender had no influence on students’ attitude towards intramural sports programme involvement in Table 7. Age had no significant influence on students’ attitude towards intramural sports programme involvement in Table 8. The null hypotheses were accepted in Tables 9, 10, 11, and 12. These findings led to the drawing of conclusions, and some recommendations were made in the end of the study, together with some suggestions for further studies.
Background to the Study
The role of sport participation for post-primary school students in the educational process has been a topic of debate for decades. Critics observe that sport activities deflect time away from the classroom (Melnick, Sabo, & Vanfossen, 1992). School (Intramural) sport is an important aspect of school physical education programme. Today, intramural tournaments are still organized within a specific community or municipal area, between teams of equivalent age or athletic ability (Wade & Mayhew, 2005). Supporters of high school sport programmes argue that sport participation (intramurals) improves students’ achievement motivation, improves students’ grades, keep them in school, raises their educational aspirations (Casey, 1989; Melnick, Sabo, & Vanfossen, 1992). Intramurals help students appreciate health, exercises and fitness, help them learn about themselves and learn to handle adversity, and help them experience team work and sportsmanship (Rasmussen, 1999-2000).
Umedum, Okafor and Azubike (1990) stated that the objectives of intramural sports are acquisition of sports skills, knowledge, development of physical fitness, character training, social interaction and proper use of leisure time. Stein (1983) noted that the purpose of intramural sports is not to win or lose, but to participate, it should therefore, have mass participation as its main objectives. Students’ attitude to intramural sports should not be winning or losing, but the benefits accrued through its participation. Carlton and Stinson (1983) stressed that some of the misconceptions students have about intramural sports programmes are that they think that the programme is primarily for those who are well skilled, while others believe that winning is the primary aim of intramural sports.
Case (1984) notes that intramural sports have grown so large in post-primary schools that it presents a different pattern of concern and challenges than any other level of education, therefore need personnel who have special knowledge of the activities, the participant, the goals of the programme, the organization and the philosophy of the programme. Intramural sports programme should be set up at times, when majority of the students can participate. The programme may be held before or after school; during last periods.
Ojeme (1987) stated that the properly planned and administered intramural sports should span the year. He further stated that, important features in overall administration of intramural sports are the establishment of intramural council or Board (sports committee) with representatives from students, staff and health department. Ojeme (1987) disclosed that the task of administering intramural sports does not require complicated skills from the teachers, what is necessary is a genuine interest and knowledge acquired through professional training and experiences in physical education coupled with formation of the right attitudes about intramurals in secondary schools.
The scheduling of intramural sports programmes should be conditioned by the attitude and knowledge of secondary school students toward the programme. Nwaeze (1990) emphasizedthat there is need for intramurals to be co-ordinated or organized by someone who is dynamic, competent, concerned and sensitive to students’ needs and desire, so that an effective and comprehensive intramural sport programme may be implemented. Hammitt (1985) stated that the most solution for the proper scheduling of practices of intramural sports programme is by forms or classes, and that time allotted to practices should be enough for the students. He further suggests morning and evening session for practice periods, and also states that students’ practice periods should be twice a week to give room for academic work and effective intramural sports programme.
Fioles (1983) stated that the students should be involved in the scheduling of the programme. Provision should be made for physically handicapped students. He further states that students should be classified into groups, maturity, age, skills, levels and ability. He observes that the random scheduling of students to participate in intramural sport regardless of the growth development, skill attainment or year in school is a deterrent to effective run of intramural in the schools. Bucher (1987) added that financing of intramural sports should be raised through Board of Education; Ministry of Education, funds from physical education budget; incorporating the cost of running into the regular activity fee, special fund raising projects and money from gate receipts, fund raising among Alumni and community members, from well to do members of the society, free donations and gift provision.
The origin and development of intramural sports in Nigeria is not easy to ascertain. However, some authorities reported that it started many years after the advent of western education. Owolabi (1981) observed that, in the past, Nigerian teachers considered physical education and sports programmes as extra-curricular activities, and as extraneous and worthless activities outside the curriculum. In line with the above observation, Okafor (1988) stated that one aspect of educational functions neglected by education authorities is the intramurals or intramural sports.
National Association for Sport and Physical Education, NASPE (2001) stated that intramural sports are all physical activity based on programming including clubs, open gym days and dance activities within the walls of school. Intramural sports are recreational sports organized within a set geographic area (Wade & Mayhew, 2005). Intramural sports programme is used to indicate a programme of competitive and recreational sports organized and played by students within an institution (Olaitan, 1989). It is also the phase of physical education in the secondary schools geared towards the abilities and skills of the entire student’s body. It involves voluntary participation in games, sports and other activities within a single school. In the context of this study, intramural sports refer to all the sports programme of students which occur within the school, but are supervised by the physical Education Teachers, such as Inter-house sport and inter-class competitions. Anyanwu (1979) opined that favourable attitude and knowledge of students toward sports will enhance their enthusiasm towards participation in school sport programme, and will help the students to develop the right attitude towards school sports.
Attitude is concerned with one’s feeling towards an object, person or thing (Okafor, 1991). Attitude refers to a mental and neutral state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s responses to all objects and situations which it is related (Osarenren, 1996). Attitude refers to the evaluation of other people, events, favour or disfavour (Moghaddam, 1998) Attitude is the way one thinks feels and behaves towards somebody or something (Hornby, 2005). In the context of this study, attitude refers to the way secondary school students in Olamaboro think, feel, and behave towards participation in intramural sports. Attitudes of students towards participation in intramurals are sometimes influenced by their knowledge about intramural sports.
Knowledge can be defined as the fact of understanding events, issues or objects that are acquired either through learning or experiences, or awareness of factors associated with something (Omoregbe, 1998). Knowledge is the information, understanding and skills that one gains through education or experience. It is also the state of knowing about a particular fact or situation (Hornby, 2005). In the context of this study, knowledge refers to the act of being aware of factors or potential danger to health; while participating in intramural sports.
In Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi state, where this study was conducted, it was observed that intramural sports have been suffering some form of neglect, and secondary school students’ knowledge and attitude seems not to be positive, of which the predisposing factors could be attributed to poor organization and administration of intramural sports. Olamaboro LGA shares common boundaries with Benue and Enugu States. It is made up of rural communities; characterized by the presence of social amenities such as hospitals, clinics, good roads, social centres, primary and secondary schools. Relevant to note, is that when students are on holiday, dance and sporting activities of various types are organized, giving them the opportunity to interact freely. This free and un-inhibited interaction coupled with the benefits derived from sporting activities, makes them embrace and develop interest in intramural sports participation. Indigenes of Olamaboro LGA are known for self reliance, effective trading and commercial farming.
This study is deemed justifiable based on the observations and experiences during the inter-house and inter-class competition among secondary school in Olamaboro LGA. The experiences and observations show that very few students, especially the male students were involved in the competition and their performances were not encouraging, indicating that they do not regularly participate in intramural sports due to their knowledge and attitude towards intramurals. This study in accordance with a related study carried out by Ezeugwu (1991) on attitude of secondary school students towards participation in school sports in Nsukka Education Zone will help to reduce the negative and poor attitude and knowledge of secondary school students towards intramural sports participation, and also move intramural sports into new frontiers in Olamaboro LGA of Kogi State, as well as the world over. It is hope that in the end of this study, secondary school students will be highly motivated, knowledgeable and have positive attitudes towards participation in intramural sports.
Secondary school students, both in junior classes and senior classes were the subjects for this study. They were selected to serve as subjects in this study, because they were observed participating low in intramurals which could be attributed to their poor knowledge and attitude towards the school sports, especially during the recent intramural sports competitions organized and administered in various secondary schools in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Circumstances likely to affect or influence secondary school students’ participation in intramural sports are varied and essentially striking. However, gender and age became the important socio-demographic variables in the study. Gender refers to the fact of being male or female. Age refers to the number of years that a person has lived or a thing has existed (Hornby, 2005). In the context of this study, gender refers to the male and female secondary school students, and age refers to the number of years the students have lived or existed. This study, therefore verified whether gender and age influenced secondary school students’ knowledge and attitude of intramural sports.
Statement of the Problem
Secondary schools are naturally looked upon as the most fertile ground for breeding talented sportsmen and women who would later on, be used to feed the state and national teams. An ideal intramural sports programme should have wide scope of sporting activities that span the school year and equally meet the sports participation needs of the entire students’ body. In the recent years, the secondary school students of Olamaboro LGA are not showing adequate interest in intramural sports from experiences and observations. The students tend to be less interested in intramurals, most secondary schools only organize the Annual inter-house Athletic competitions which are sometimes stopped for one or more years at the discretion of the school principals; leaving the Physical Education teachers to rely on old talent and handpick from new students whenever the need arises.
Low participation and lack of interest invariably affects the knowledge and attitude of students towards being involved in a school programme, like intramural sports. Okafor (1987) stated that students are found parading the streets and engaging in other activities outside the school curriculum during intramural sports programmes, some are found in the classrooms discussing and doing other things other than what is due then. Some students do not even like to appear within the sporting arena; leaving only the active participants. Ojo (2003) observed that intramural sports were poorly organized in secondary schools in Ogun State, Nigeria.
Today, some secondary schools in Olamaboro, hardly organize the annual inter-house sport, which was probably the only intramurals organized in the area for flimsy excuses. Administration of intramurals is not good in the study area. Most schools conducted the intramurals on unmarked pitches and courts, and used improvised sports equipment and facilities for the competitions, and also used unqualified personnel.
Considering the situation of intramurals in the study area, one wonders how the secondary schools in Olamaboro can achieve the educational values of intramurals, and have adequate knowledge and favourable attitude towards school sports. There is dearth of literature on knowledge and attitude of intramural sports in Olamaboro LGA of Kogi State. The researcher therefore was pricked to find out the knowledge and attitude of intramural sports among secondary school students, and the influence of gender and age.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to find out the knowledge and attitude of intramural sports among secondary school students in Olamaboro LGA of Kogi State. Specially, the study aimed to determine: