Participation of university students in sports activities: Developing a sports structure
Author(s): KSHMVWW Senevirathne
Abstract: Participation in sports has always been a great opportunity to develop their personality of the university students. Sports and physical education are the integrated parts of education and emphasizes the importance of participating in physical activities in promoting enjoyment, health and wellness of youth. According to the data indicated a consistent decline in interest and performances of sports among university students, especially Arts Faculty students of University of Peradeniya. Objectives of this study were to identify the perception of Arts Faculty students towards the participation of sports activities, perception of officials of the department of PE regarding improving student participation and to suggest some specific proposals to develop student participation in sports of the University of Peradeniya. A Cross-sectional survey method was used to identify the perception of students, officials of the departmental of PE regarding student participation. A research was carried out on purposively selected sample of 5 officials of the department of physical education and randomly selected 183 (N=83) students attached to the Faculty of Arts at the University of Peradeniya. Data were obtained from semi structured interviews, questionnaire and participant observation and were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings of the study shows various reasons for the decline of the participation of sports activities such as semester system effects (78%), poor motivation of the academic staff (55%), poor encouragement of the senior students (80%), financial problems and food habits (70%), inappropriate time allocation for fresher (90%) and lack of previous experience (40%). Meanwhile, the officials of the physical education unit viewed different perceptions. They pointed out student participation declined due to negative attitudes of academic staff. They made some suggestions to improve student participation in sports activities among university students. The research focuses to a new sport participation developing structure to the university system.