n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Perceived motivational factors influencing students with disabilities towards sports participation in Amathole district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Volume 21 Number 4.2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


disabilities in participating in sports in the selected special schools in the Amathole district, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Questionnaires, interviews and participant observation were used for data collection. The questionnaire was adapted from De Swardt's study on leisure functioning of learners with learning and physical disabilities. The observation instrument by Bond on disabled sports was applied with slight modifications. The common types of disabilities affecting the students were physical disability (51%), mental retardation (34%) and hearing impairment (15%). The proportion of students who strongly disagreed (4.2%) was not significantly different (p>0.05) from those who disagreed (2.7%) that their parents actually had a significant influence on their participation in sports. Similarly, the proportion of students who agreed (42.2%) that their parents significantly influenced their inclusion in sports did not vary significantly from those who strongly agreed (40.8%) at 5% level of significance. This shows that more than 80% of the students asserted that their parents had a significant influence on their inclusion in sports. However, 9.8% of the respondents were not sure of their parents' influence on their sports participation. This could be due to inability to interpret the question correctly. Inherent skills had a significant influence on children's participation in sports. Responses regarding reason for participation in sport suggest that students had high self-esteem about their physical condition. Students were motivated to participate in sport because of several factors including enjoyment, competency, need to socialise, for health and psychological benefits. Concerning enjoyment,22% of male participants strongly agreed that sport is fun and 40% of their female counterparts strongly agreed. About 56% male and 36% female students agreed that enjoyment was a strong motive behind their participation, while 5% male strongly disagree and only 2% of the female disagreed. Both male (78%) and female (76%) agreed that enjoyment was a strong motive behind their participation. On the issue of competency, students (male and female) shared similar view that participating in sports enabled them to enhance their movement skills competencies. The teachers agreed parents were not involved and portrayed lack of interest in their children's' sports participation and achievements. The present study has shown that students with disabilities shared unique and multiple motives for participation in sports. Some of the motives cited were competency, psychological and health benefits. Other motives are related to team sports such as the need to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow students such as friendship, excitement and fun. Parental influence, the students' inherent skills were identified as constraining factors encountered by students with disabilities in participation in sports.

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