Factors influencing sport talent development among secondary school students in Homabay Municipality, Kenya
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Research shows that sports playa vital role in creating positive attributes in individuals. These include character building, wellbeing, and good mental and moral health in people. Sports equally play an important role in enhancing social cohesion and peace among communities. International organizations recognize sport as a universal language that can contribute to global peace development and health. Worldwide UNICEF and other organizations content that development and peace goals can be achieved through sports. Policy programs have been drawn internationally to recognize physical education and schools as important in development of sports and potential among the youth. Despite this, there exists a gap between policy and actual performance of sports in physical education in schools in Kenya today. Homabay schools suffer a similar fate; with some schools making an effort to actively engage their students in sports up to the national level competitions, while others do not seem to feature at all. In these schools; there is no evidence at all to indicate that students' from secondary schools in Homabay progress to become professional/elite sports athletes or pursue sports related careers. The main objective of this study was to look at why students do not progress in sports beyond secondary school level. In order to achieve this; this study looked at what factors influence sports talent development among secondary schools' students in Homabay municipality. The factors that were investigated in this study were; socio-cultural, economic status, curriculum and logistical/ tactical factors and their effects on development of sports talent among students in schools in Homabay municipality. The research design used in the study was descriptive survey method. The study population consisted of 10 public and private secondary schools. Stratified random sampling technique was used to sample 444 students for the study, while purposive sampling was used to sample 10 head teachers and 30 teacher-coaches; 3 per school. Questionnaires, document analysis and observations were used to obtain data. Data was analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages. In the study, it emerged that socio-cultural factors such as family and friends were chief in motivating or de-motivating students to participate in sports. It also emerged that the economic status of schools particularly affected the quality of training that students received in sports as well as the attitudes by teachers and students regarding P.E and physical activity. Finally logistical ltactical factors regarding sports training, coach qualifications and a lack thereof of linkage programs within schools that could allow students pursue sports beyond secondary schools affected the quality of training and commitment by students to sports. The study recommends actions for rectification of the situation through of re-introduction of P.E as an examinable subject for academic credit in schools as well as studies into policies that would enable schools introduce linkage programs to allow students pursue professional sports.