Secondary School Students’ Feelings about Participation in Sports: A Qualitative Study from Six Schools in Adelaide, South Australia

By Vegneskumar Maniam and Robert Matthews.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The focus of this study was the personal views of 111 secondary students on playing sport. The study included a year 11 class from six schools across the state, independent and catholic school sectors in Adelaide; the principals agreed to allow their students to participate on a voluntary basis. The method followed the theoretical framework for understanding individuals’ personal perspective on a particular phenomenon, derived from the humanistic sociological approach of the Polish American sociologist, Florian Znaniecki, and developed by J J Smolicz for research on cultural pluralism in Australia. Only 10% of the respondents indicated that they did not participate in any form of sport. The remainder claimed to be involved in 24 different sports, with soccer named by 29%, eight other sports by 6 - 19% and each of 14 sports by less than 5% of the students. The respondents’ feelings towards sport, were ascertained in two questions on what they liked and disliked about playing sport. The 196 likes and 103 dislikes mentioned were categorized into major themes and subthemes. Sport as fun was mentioned 37 times and making friends through sport 34 times. Twelve respondents disliked the possibility of being injured while playing sport and another ten the competitive element in sport. This study contributes to an in-depth understanding of these secondary students’ participation in sport, especially the range of sports played, and the many facets of what they liked or disliked. The students’ views have implications for those teaching and administering sport for young people.

Keywords: Playing Sport, Secondary Students’ Sporting Likes and Dislikes, Teaching and Administering Sports

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.61-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 789.460KB).

Vegneskumar Maniam

Phd Student, School of Education, Faculty of the Professions, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Vegneskumar Maniam teaches Families, Schools and Students’ Academic Outcomes. His primary research focus is on Sociology of Education, especially in relation to issues to sports participation and sense of identity.

Robert Matthews

The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Robert Matthews, Ph.D. is an academic in education at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Researching learning, creativity and student teacher interaction.