Social support mechanism for athletes with disabilities

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to investigate social support mechanisms among athletes with disabilities. In order to achieve that purpose the study assessed types of social support provided to the disabled athletes, namely listening support, shared social reality, emotional support, technical appreciation, emotional challenge and technical challenge. The relationship of social support to sport participation and performance was also investigated. The study was conducted in Dar es salaam City with ninety respondents who are National and International Special Olympic participants. Respondents were selected by using purposive sampling. The instruments used were questionnaires and structured interview. Data were subjected to quantitative analysis by using SPSS packages. The findings of the study indicated that: a) Disabled athletes participate in various sports depending on the types and degree of disability they have. It was also found that track and field athletics seemed to be most attractive sport to disabled individuals. b) Each type of social support is important to disabled athletes, but listening support and technical appreciation seemed to be very important types of social. support to most of the disabled athletes. c) When social support providers were categorized according to the types of social support they provide, it was found that technical challenge and technical appreciation support were provided by coaches and team mates to the disabled athletes than any other group. The study recommends that: Any social support provision should be preceded by needs assessment and content verification by disabled athletes, in order to meet the deficiencies that call for such support. Social support should be provided at the right time, and to the right person. Every practitioner in physical activity program should consider individual need and ability in order to avoid severe complications to the disabled athletes.
The document is available in print and electronic form
Athletes, Disabilities, Social support mechanisms, Physical education
Muhalley, Y. K (2003) Social support mechanism for athletes with disabilities. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at