INVESTIGATE THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SPORTS
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1.1 Background to the Study
Sport in Nigeria has grown from a humble beginning as an entertainment and recreational pastime to a prominent phenomenon whose influences are felt in all facets of lives of citizenry. It has become an important aspect of the Nigeria culture due to its popularity among the citizenry. It is as important as the basic necessities of life, like food, clothing and shelter. This importance and power of sports have been highly recognized by the Nigeria state and had used it to pursue its foreign policy and diplomatic agenda as well as foster national unity and socio-cultural integration. Examples of such moves by the Nigerian government are the hosting of the 1973 All African Games after the Nigerian civil war to demonstrate to the world that Nigeria is united, sate, and secure; the introduction of the Nigerian Sports Festival in 1973 as a means of fostering unity and cultural integration after the Nigerian civil war; etc. (Boit, 2000).
In further recognizing the power of sports especially for Nigerian children in promoting their physical, mental and socio-economic development, the Nigerian state introduced sports in schools. That is, considering the role of sports in the all-round development of the child and youths, Nigerian Government came up with a policy aimed at ensuring that sport is offered as a compulsory subject at the Nursery, Primary and Secondary school levels of the formal education system.