Gender disparities and Participation in swimming
Mwihaki, G. M.
Simiyu, Njororai W. W.
Wanderi, P. M
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Participation in sports and engagement in physical activities has been encouraged to all, for its immense physiological, psychological and social benefits. Despite this, epidemiological studies have consistently established decline in participation among adolescents in general and gender disparities in participation in sports. This study sets out to investigate whether there exists gender disparities in swimming participation among adolescents in Nairobi secondary schools. Further, it set to establish some of the psychosocial factors influencing participation in swimming across gender. The study targeted a population of Form Three and Two students. Purposive stratified and random sampling was used to select the sample, consisting of 24 secondary schools. Six hundred students responded to the questionnaires. The variables considered included; facilities, funding, significant others, religion, gender, academic load and interests in swimming, vis-a-vis interests in other club activities. These variables were analysed interpreted and presented. This paper highlights a section of these results which were presented in an MSc. thesis by one of the three co-authors, supervised by the other two co-authors. From the findings, the following recommendations were proposed: Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association in liaison with Kenya Swimming Federation, should organize a swimming league in secondary schools and improve their Marketing strategies, so as to increase sponsorship during swimming galas as this will reduce costs on schools or parents and increase awards at stake, providing more tangible rewards that would attract and increase participation for both boys and girls. Mixed schools should make concerted effort to increase female participation by allocating different\!imes for girls and boys during swimming lessons. This would increase participation as they would not be shy. Teachers should playa more vital role in assisting girls to strike a balance between their academics and participating in physical activities, which are both very vital in their development.