Introduction to Outdoor Sports - Classification and Characteristics of Recreation Activities in Nigeria


Introduction to Outdoor Sports - Classification and Characteristics of Recreation Activities in Nigeria

There is substantial scientific evidence related to contribution of outdoor environment and outdoor activities to young children’s learning as well as development in early childhood education literature. 

Most of the researchers expressed their ideas about why they considered outdoor environment as so valuable for young children’s whole development including gross and fine motor skills, intellectual skills, social skills as well as sensory skills since they believed that the whole development of children could be well supported in outdoors as long as they are appropriately adopted for.  

For instance, indicated that outdoor activities, naturally, offer children a chance to do exercise by using their fine and gross muscles and mostly require being active within the environment.

Parallel to that idea, that the environment including natural elements provides many opportunities for children to develop their motor skills, such as coordination, balance and agility as well as protect children from childhood obesity.

At the end of this article you should be able to explain the concept of outdoor sports and state Classification and Characteristics of Recreation Activities in Nigeria


Concept of Outdoor Sports

Outdoor education is often synonymous with outdoor recreation. Many scholars agreed that both terms are very similar. These things proved to be true when Western State Coll. of Colorado, Phipps, & Cash (1991) explained that various terms such as outdoor education, environmental education, wilderness education, experiential education, adventure education, adventure activities, risk activities, outdoor pursuits, outdoor activities, wilderness pursuits, tourism, commercial recreation, and natural resource management have been used to describe different aspects of outdoor recreation.

The word outdoor recreation encompasses all aspects of natural environments and adventure; it means a greater use of available natural resources.

This underscores the important role of the environment in recreation vis-à-vis the need to preserve a quality environment that will be conducive to the best interests of man.

Outdoor recreation or outdoor activities are leisure pursuits engaged in outside, especially in (but not limited to) natural or semi-natural settings in and out of town.

Examples include adventure racing, back-packing, cycling, camping, canoeing, caving, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, photography, running, sailing, skiing and surfing.

During this, human behaviour becomes obvious that the outdoor recreation leaves their impact not just on the body, but also on the minds of the people.

In Nigeria, outdoor recreation cannot be seen and perceived as a new phenomenon in the life of the people. Since time immemorial, Nigerians have been engaging in different play activities unconsciously during their leisure hours.

Playgrounds, village and market square, are used as centers for cultural displays, traditional ceremonies, as well as for different kinds of socio-religious functions.

Nigerians of all sub-cultures have always had relaxation and leisure as part of their life-style. Most of the activities were locally based including the exhibition of youthful prowess in wrestling and village traditional dancing.


Classification and Characteristics of Recreation Activities in Nigeria

Introduction to Outdoor Sports - Classification and Characteristics of Recreation Activities in Nigeria

The recreation activities in Nigeria could be broadly classified as modern or indigenous. 

The characteristics of recreation activities in Nigeria are discussed using the following criteria; location of leisure activity or facility, space requirement for the activity, characteristics of the participants and operational basis for the activity.

i. Location of Recreation Activity: Certain modern and indigenous activities have similar locational characteristics. 

Modern activities such as picnic, camping and indigenous activities like games take place in the country side.

ii. Space Requirement: Modern activities such as golf, polo require large open space while indigenous activities like dara (Hausa) ayo (Yourba) take smaller space to pursue.

iii. Characteristics of the Participants: Age, sex and a status are the three components of participant‟s characteristics in this discussion. 

Age: Modern sporting activities like soccer, basketball and indigenous sports like Kokawa (Hausa) are more associated with the youth, while golf and ayo (Yoruba) are associated with the grown up or older people.

Sex: In traditional setting females participate more in home based activities than their male counter parts. Similarly, males participates more in active games than females sports such as soccer, boxing etc are widely associated with males and handball with females.

Status: In Nigerian context, modern leisure time activities like golf, polo etc. are dominated by certain class of people – the rich

iv. Operational Basis: Traditionally, indigenous recreation activities are operated on non-subscription basis while modern spectator sports require payment for subscription as gate fees etc.

Most modern activities have standardized space size while traditional or indigenous activities have no such standards.

This article has been taught the concept and classification of outdoor sport. In subsequent lessons, you will learn about the meaning and purposes of outdoor sports.

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