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Title: Understanding the nature of talent identification and development in the Nigerian context
Author: Elumaro, Adeboye Israel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 3983
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2015
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In recent times, the sports sector across the globe has attracted economic interests both from the public and the private sector. For example, the cost of hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was estimated at over $14.5 billion, with huge investments made intorenovating old stadia and building new ones in preparation for the games. Similarly, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow generated over 5,000 jobs and apprenticeships for the locals, £200m worth of contracts to local firms, £198m investments in sporting facilities, and £700m worth of transport-related infrastructural development. It is thus clear that sport hasassumed more relevance in society than merely serving the purpose of recreation and leisure such that stakeholders now commit resources into sport performance improvement. Consequently, countries (particularly, those in Europe, Australia and North America) consider the sports sector among the key factors of social and economic development. Given the considerably large youthful population of Nigeria, it is possible to take advantage of sports to advance social and economic wellbeing of the people. It is however regrettable that the Nigerian government does not appear to have realised the potentialopportunities a robust sports economy could provide for a nation in the quest for social, political and economic development. The opportunities provided by sports for social and economic growth will not be fully grasped unless efforts are made to create effective talent development frameworks; unfortunately, anecdotally at least, the reality on the ground suggests that the contrary is the case in Nigeria. Previous research investigating the process of talent identification and development has highlighted a number of features of effective talent development environments. Research informing these guidelines and principles comes from a variety of research activity including understanding the nature of the talent development pathway, the characteristics of successful and developing athletes, the features of effective coaching and support environments, factorsof effective talent transfer, and effective talent development policies. However, it is important to note, that the current TID literature is based predominantly on European, Australian and North American studies. This is particularly important given that there is strong evidence to suggest that TID is culturally and context specific. Certainly the specific context must be taken into consideration when transferring and/or using recommendations (either research orapplied) from one context to another. Since there has been very little work carried out within a Nigerian context, this thesis aims to take a broad examination of the nature of talent identification and development processes within a Nigerian context. This is with the aim of understanding potential barriers to TID and facilitating effective practice to aid successful talent development within Nigeria To address these objectives, three studies were carried out. First, a literature review examined the relevant TID literature in relation to the specific context of TID in Nigeria, taking into account the role(s) of important stakeholders (i.e. coach, parents, teacher, siblings,and peers). Based on the lack of evidence from the Nigerian environment and the exploratory nature of this thesis, three qualitative studies were designed and implemented to examine a broad, in-depth perspective of the nature of athlete and sports development in Nigeria. These three studies included the elite athletes' perspectives of the nature of talent identification and development, the elite coaches' perspectives and finally the community stakeholders' perspectives. A total of 21 participants (i.e. 8 elite athletes, 7 coaches and 6 community stakeholders) were purposefully sampled and interviewed to provide triangulated, and informed perspectives on the specific nature of TID in Nigeria. The data revealed a number of challenges to effective TID in Nigeria including, lack of policy implementation, corruption, poverty, and family resistance, as well as poor infrastructure for sports development. Furthermore, luck played a large role in successfuldevelopment, especially due to the ad hoc nature of access to coaching and supportive people in the community (e.g. head teachers). Interestingly, in case successful development, theextremely challenging circumstances faced by athletes attempting to develop their sporting potentials acted as a mechanism to develop their mental resilience and independence, which facilitated success. Furthermore, findings suggest that widespread cultural practice through early years (e.g. festivals, physical labour) developed a general physicality among Nigerian children, which could serve as bedrock of TID, if the other talent development environmentswere put right.
Supervisor: Martindale, Russell Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sport performance ; sports sector ; financial investment ; sports economy ; 613 Personal health & safety ; RC1200 Sports Medicine ; Sports sciences