Mr. Michael Mthethwa is a Lecturer and Head of Programme for the Advanced Diploma in Physical Education and School Sports at Embury Institute for Higher Education, South Africa. As an academic I believe my mission is to ensure that Institutions of Higher Learning produce a generation of teacher professionals who are au fait with leading a physically active lifestyle. As staunch believer of giving back and sharing knowledge I voluntarily serves as Team Manager for my community’s Rugby Club. I am currently busy with his PHD studies. Prior to undertaking PHD Studies, I completed my Masters, Honours and Undergraduate Degrees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which were focused on sport and physical activity as a preventative medicine for non-communicable diseases amongst youth.
Factors Affecting Participation in Sport and Recreation of Students Staying in Residences at The University of Kwazulu-Natal
Universities across the globe offer sport and recreation participation opportunities with the intention to; improve social cohesion, physical fitness and overall well-being of students. A challenge confronting public Universities in South Africa is that the sport services and infrastructure provided are underutilised, and there appears to be unknown factors precipitating the situation. On this background, the authors undertook a study to establish the factors affecting student participation in sport and recreation on campus at a public University in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The aim of the research was to advance local knowledge in university sport, direct future strategic plans, whilst correcting present and past mistakes. A descriptive research design was utilised and a survey was distributed to investigate the views and perceptions of a randomly selected sample of students (n=199) staying in residences on main campus. The median and interquartile range were presented as a summary statistic, because the frequency distributions were not normally distributed. The non-parametric two-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann-Whitney) test was further utilized to compare sub-groups. Results of the study are in alignment with reports from the international community, which currently reveals that structural (academic workload) and interpersonal (absence or lack of partners) factors serve as the leading constraints for student participation in campus based sport and recreation activities. Justifications for participation in sport and recreation were achievement, status, stress relief and pure enjoyment. Findings from this study further reveal that university students are of the view that there is an unequal treatment of various sport codes on campus, which university managers need to urgently review and address.