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Assessing institutional practices and conditions in the development of students in Ethiopian sports academies – insiders’ perspectives

Author: 
Aemero Asmamaw, Sirak H/Mariam and Tefera Tadesse
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The objective of this study was to assess the existing institutional practices and conditions that nurture the development of students in two sports academies in Ethiopia. To this end, the researchers used a qualitative case study design conducting focus group discussions with 20 randomly selected students and individual interviews with 4 coaches and 2 sports academy directors. The findings pointed some strengths and weaknesses of the programs. For most of the study participants the prevailing learning environment, levels of engagement in sports, and academic culture were found essential conditions for learning and development. Moreover, many of them explained the presence of positive relationship between students and coaches. Also, they felt that sporting events were properly managed with the specified time frame, and expressed positive views about participating in friendly matches with other sport clubs. However, the study participants expressed negative opinions about the sports programs as they predominantly focused on the practical skill training, without a balanced complement of theoretical components. Even sports trainings mainly represent team trainings with minimal or no individual trainings. Also, coaches most often arranged friendly matches with other more advanced clubs that used players of higher age levels than students in sports academies. It was clear from the study participants report that the two sports academies were in short of sports materials, equipment, facilities, as well as recreational and entertainment places. In sum, study participants strongly suggested the need for well harmonized sports education programs supported by academic sciences and psychological trainings, along with the fulfillment of essential resources and the planned conduct of friendly matches with participants of the same age categories.

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