Determinants of participation in sports among students with hearing impairement in secondary schools for the deaf of Kenya
Moseti, Moraa Zipporah
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Effective engagement of sports among students with hearing impairment has physiological, psychological, intellectual and societal benefits (Riungu, 2002; Smith, 2004). Although there has been great emphasis on sports and health related activities among students, there is a general concern that students with disabilities do not frequently participate in such activities. This study proceeded from the assumption that students with hearing impairment have no visible disability and therefore should participate in sports like their hearing counterparts. The study, therefore, sought to evaluate determinants of participation in sports among students with hearing impairment in Kenyan secondary schools for the deaf. The specific objectives of this study were to: establish the effect of gender on sport participation among students with hearing impairment; identify the type of sports in which most of the students with hearing impairment participate; establish the most commonly available sports facilities in secondary schools for the deaf, and establish the extent of participation in sports among students with hearing impairment in term one and two. Anchored on a descriptive research design, the study targeted 574 students with hearing impairment and 88 teachers in 7 public secondary schools for the deaf. Purposive sampling was used to select all Form 2 and 3 students as well as 3 teachers from the 7 schools translating to a total of 21 teachers and 327 student respondents. Two questionnaires; one for students and another for teachers were used in data collection. Data collected from the field was processed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Qualitative data generated from open-ended questions using grouped into themes and analyzed according to the research objectives. Frequency tables and bar graphs were used in data presentation. Cross-tabulations and Chi-square (χ 2 ) tests were used to test the association, if any, of variables such as gender, sports preference and sports participation. The study established that gender was a significant variable to sports preference and participation among students with hearing impairment. The findings revealed that more male students participate in sports than female students. Majority of these students were motivated to participate in sports for fun. Football was the most preferred sport type by male students while female respondents had a strong preference to volleyball and netball. Most commonly available sports facilities were football and volleyball pitches. Majority of the students with hearing impairment actively engaged in sports in term one compared to term two due to the scheduling of national competitions for SNE in term one. The study concludes that gender, sports preference, availability of sports facilities, competitions and, internal and external drives were significant determinants in sports participation among students with hearing impairment. The study recommends that simple and easy-to-use sports facilities should be provided as an enabler for more students with hearing impairment to participate in sports, and a safe and supportive environment be established to facilitate active sports engagement among female students. Special schools should provide adequate facilities for a variety of sports in line with different kinds of sports. Insights from these findings will be helpful to stakeholders in making informed decisions, and in availing sports facilities for students with hearing impairment not only in secondary schools but also in other institutions of learning such as primary schools and tertiary institutions.