Determining the demand for recreational sport at a university
This mini-dissertation deals with the market demand for campus recreation at the North-West University’s (NWU) Potchefstroom Campus. The market demand refers to the proposed needs for recreation activities on-campus among fulltime undergraduate students studying at the Potchefstroom Campus. For the purpose of the study, undergraduate students (n = 327) were requested to complete a questionnaire containing questions related to reasons for recreational sport participation and constraints hindering participation, as identified by literature. The study was undertaken by using historic, fulltime first- to third-year students studying at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU. Participants consisted of a diverse group residing both on-campus and off-campus and also from different faculties, with the exclusion of the Faculties of Law and Theology. Data collected by means of questionnaires was organised and analysed by the Statistical Consultation Services of the NWU (Potchefstroom Campus). Descriptive statistics were used to determine frequencies. It was found that the majority of students participate in the seven major sport codes of the university, and in particular hockey and soccer, followed by tennis and athletics. Even though participation figures for rugby are lower than those for the other seven major sport codes, the participation frequencies by the students are the highest of the major sport codes. The highest additional sport codes that students participated in are cycling, squash, golf, swimming and table tennis. The additional sport codes are predominantly participated in either through hostel teams or with private clubs. It was found that there are five main reasons why students participate in recreational sport, namely for the purpose of challenge and enjoyment, for recognition and achievement, to socialise, for health and physical wellness and to relieve stress. From the mean scores, it appears that the students’ primary reasons for participating in recreational sports are recognition and achievement and to a lesser degree for health and wellness. The study found participation constraints, namely lack of knowledge, lack of interest, individual psychological aspects and accessibility or financial constraints. The constraint experienced most by the students, according to the mean scores, is lack of knowledge about recreational sport. Regarding the students’ recreational sport needs, hockey was mentioned the most, followed by netball, cycling, swimming, tennis and squash. Students prefer to participate in the above mentioned recreational sport activities with hostel teams, whereas very few students prefer to participate on their own. The first recommendation would be to include student development, health and wellness as key components in the current vision of NWU sport. It is also recommended that the NWU revise the information obtained from the Marketing Department regarding the recruitment of future students. Valuable knowledge could be obtained regarding which sports the students were exposed to during their school years and to adjust the additional sport codes accordingly. The third recommendation is the introduction of leisure education during the orientation programme for first-year students. Leisure education will provide the students with the skills to prepare for future events peculiar to campus life. Fourthly it is recommended that, due to the increase in demand for multi-gender sport, the university shall focus on marketing and public awareness of sports such as women’s cricket and rugby for women. The last recommendation refers to the need for more information regarding the management of facilities and grounds. The implementation of a web-based system could increase productivity and may decrease the pressure placed on the utilisation of facilities and grounds.