Intention and constraints of Hong Kong secondary school Physical Education teachers to promote Unified Sports®
Unified Sports is an initiative of Special Olympics. It provides an opportunity for Special Olympic athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (called partners) to train and compete together on the same team. In Hong Kong, the development of Unified Sports is at an embryonic stage. Working on the front line, Physical Education (PE) teachers play an important role in promoting students’ participation in Unified Sports. This study was designed to explore teachers’ intention and constraints in promoting participation in Unified Sports among their students. One hundred and eighty secondary school PE teachers took part in this study by responding to a questionnaire designed by the investigator. The questionnaire was based on literature review and guidelines provided by Ajzen (1985). It was found that the teachers’ intention to encourage students’ participation in Unified Sports was low and only 14.1% of the teachers had encouraged their students to take part in Unified Sports. Perceived constraints for teachers to encourage students’ participation in Unified Sports and to organize Unified Sports in their own schools were also identified. The more important ones were heavy workload of teachers, inadequate information about Unified Sports, and tight curriculum. Since Unified Sport is still a novel concept to most teachers in Hong Kong, agencies providing Unified Sports can consider introducing it through the staff development programmes of the schools. Another strategy was working with other school subjects like Civic Education, Social Studies, Religious Studies or Liberal Studies.
Key words: PE teachers, Unified Sports, intellectual disabilities.