The state of netball in selected primary schools in Chipata District, Zambia

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Nyirenda, Gideon Ackim
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to find out the state of netball in primary schools with particular focus on selected schools in Chipata District. Most countries the world over are grappling with netball development in primary schools and from the time netball was introduced to primary school curriculum, it has not been a popular sporting game in primary schools in Zambia. The study adopted a descriptive design rooted in mixed methods. The study sample comprised 101 participants consisting of head teachers, head teachers‟ representative for schools‟ sports in Chipata District, Chipata District Schools‟ Sports Association Executive members, netball teachers in primary schools and pupils. The 16 selected primary schools were picked from the urban and rural areas with each contributing eight schools. In this study, stratified random sampling was used to select head teachers from the sixteen (16) schools, purposive sampling was used to select all the participants except pupils where simple random sampling was used. The instruments for data collection included interview guides, questionnaires and observation checklists. Qualitative data was analysed by the use of common themes and quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings of this study showed that playing of netball in primary schools in Chipata District was done haphazardly as most netball teachers were not formally planning their training sessions. The study revealed that 22 netball teachers representing 68.8 per cent were generalists teachers as opposed to trained Physical Education and Sports teachers. Further, this study showed that netball coaching clinics were conducted once per year at district level and rarely done at zone level. Out of 32 netball teachers that took part in this study, 24 of them representing 75 per cent had ready access to netball rules, however, the study revealed that 53.1 per cent had challenges with netball rules and umpiring. This study also revealed that 75 per cent of the pupils started participating in netball at school between the ages of 11 and 13 and only a few pupils had an opportunity to play for the school. In addition, the study showed that netball in primary schools was organized in form of tournaments. Based on the above findings, the Chipata District Schools‟ Sports Association should develop a netball training/coaching manual to guide netball teachers. The Chipata District Schools‟ Sports Association should collaborate with Netball Association of Zambia to organize a lot of refresher courses for netball teachers in form of netball coaching clinics at zone and district levels so that netball teachers can have more time to practice. Further, The Chipata District Schools‟ Sports Association to introduce netball leagues for primary schools and pupils to start playing netball at a tender age with appropriate equipment suitable for their ages. Keywords:Generalist teacher, Netball coaching clinic, Popularity, Standard netball equipment