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This study in its totality is an attempt to investigate the factors influencing female participation in sports among undergraduate students of the University of Benin. The need for this study becomes necessary owing to the fact that despite the health benefits derivable from sports participation, female participation is at the very low level. During the process of carrying out this investigation, five research questions were formulated and tested. 100 copies of questionnaires were administered to respondents. Simple percentage was used to analyze the data collected from the outcome of the research. Among others, the following are the finding of this study:
Physiological and anatomical constitution majorly hinders females from participating in sports
There are health benefits derivable from participating in sports.
Female undergraduate students are interested in sports as much as males.
Active and passive sports activities are the two types of activities performed by undergraduate students
Based on the result of the study, recommendations were made. It is hoped that sporting activities would be embraced by all female undergraduate students in the future. 



Background of the study

Female participation in sports has come a long way. Efforts have been and are being made in getting more females to participate in sports. However, a lot more efforts is still required to generate greater female participation in the world of sports (Linus, 2003).

In the ancient Olympic games as reported by Jackson and Harris (1999), women were not allowed to watch the activities let alone participate in them. By the end of the nineteenth century, English women from the middle classes were taking part in sports. Victorian attitudes meant that women played in cumbersome dresses making movement difficult (Jackson et, al, 1999). In the early twentieth century, the national governing body of some sports were formed and there were organized competitions for women different from that of men. Women competed for in the Olympic games for the first time in 1904 but only in archery (Jackson et al, 1999). Jackson et, al (1999), also opined that the first world war was the turning point for women sports where the myth that women were unable to cope with men’s sports was broken.

Attitude regarding female participation in sports are changing over the years as women in sports have continued to grow. There are females who have made sports participation part of their daily life. In spite of all these, female participation still fall a lot lower than that of the males (Eileen, 2005).

The under-representation of females in sports is an issue of national concern so it becomes a matter of national concern for government and non-governmental sports organization to implement solutions.

The aforementioned raises questions as to what females do with their leisure time particularly after completing secondary school. Research has indicated that adolescence who are idle become involved in high risk behaviors including substance abuse as argued by Iso-Ahola and Crowley and cited in Buffer (1996). Research studies have also suggested that participation lowers the rate of sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. The women sports foundation (Digest, 1997), has shown that the involvement of girls in sports also reduce dropout rates from schools. The promotion of female participation in sports will help create a contest for women to lead healthier and productive lives.

Participation in sports has been associated with positive steps that can lead to better lives. Girls who take part in sports help to build self confidence, a positive body image and have been linked with lower level of depression (Digest, 1997). Girls who partake in sports become physically healthier in terms of strength and weight management.

Early involvement in sports can also minimize the development of a number of health conditions (Digest, 1997). A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind and school based physical education and sports programmes are ideal to facilitate fitness and acquisition of life time skills. It therefore seems important to know and understand factors that could promote greater female participation in sports.

This study will focus on factors influencing why some girls take part in sports focusing on the above dimension would reveal positive reasons and negative reasons that also cause many girls to choose not to participate in sport.

Statement of problem

Female participation in sports no doubt has positive implications for physiological, social, aesthetic and mental development of women. In spite of this, the level of participation is still low.

Most females would participate in other activities rather than sports on the guise that sporting activities are too physical and should be left for males alone other factors also account for the above. It is on this note that this research is geared at addressing factors influencing female participation in sporting activities.

Research Question

Some of the questions to help guide this research include:

Are females interested in sports as much as males?

Does sex difference influence participation in sporting activities?

Does the type of sporting activity have an influence in the rate of female participation.Does physiological constitution affect female participation in sports?

Does anatomical constitution affect female participation in sports?

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to examine some of the factors influencing female participation in sports among undergraduate students of the University of Benin.

Significant of the study

The findings of this study may reveal the level of participation and general perception towards females in sports. Consequently, the result of this study may guild governmental and non-governmental organization in the formulation of sporting policies that would benefit female folks.

This study will also educate females on the need and importance of sports participation and in turn suggest ways to prevent injuries when partaking in sporting activities. 

Delimitation of the study

This study, will focus on the University of Benin undergraduate students with emphasis on the Human kinetics department of the University of Benin for easy collection of data and other vital analysis.

Limitation of the study

The limitation of the study, is the restriction of the statistics of the study to University of Benin undergraduate students which is rather small compared to the entire country. This will affect the extent to which result of the study can be generalized.

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