A Study Aimed to Understand Why Student’s In Higher Education
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The current population of young adults (18-25 year olds) are not meeting the recommended amount of physical activity (ONS, 2011; DCMS, 2013). In comparison studies have found that there is a major drop out percentage, when young people leave compulsory school. With a majority of the young population being student in higher education (2.5 million out of 7 million), university institutes have an opportunity to address this issue and raise and retain the sport participation (Higher Education Statistics Survey, No Date; ONS, 2011). With a lack of literature surrounding sport participation in university students, it can become an issue to increase the participation rates within. Therefore this study aims to understand drop outs of university sport and identify the issues, so they can be developed. With many of the studies looking at the overall population when focusing on the young adults, rather than looking into a specific group, it makes it hard for sport development practitioners to develop these groups and make such interventions specific. Much of this study was to gain an understanding of the issues of drop outs in higher education students from university level sport in detail, therefore a qualitative approach was chosen, using interviews; the interview method gave a chance for the participants to clearly express their opinions (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2007). The most important sources were the participants, who were all in their third year at university and had at one point dropped out of university sport at their time studying. The main reasons for drop out among the participants were: too competitive, no social aspect, lack of enjoyment, no development/ progression. The results linked with the literature (Craike, Symons, & Zimmermann, 2009; Enoksen, 2011), however, the social aspect of sport needed to be a higher priority within university support. Many of the participants had other priorities (e.g. studies) or have already played to a high level prior to university, but still wanting to be involved in sport to some degree, found it hard with some of the structure of the sport being too competitive and time-consuming. University sport seemed to be over-focused on quality over quantity, instead looking into getting more people included with enjoyment and social factors being priority. The results are specific to students, but can be related to other groups and ages. It seems that university sport needs to make social teams more established, so they can retain participation.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT DEVELOPMENT
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