Physical health is essential in order to produce a holistic student. Students can improve their physical health and prevent them from serious illness by joining co-curricular activities that require physical activities. According to Elmagd (2016), the definition of physical activity is any bodily movement generated by skeletal muscles that involve energy expenditure. Examples co-curricular activities in UiTM that can improve physical health are KESATRIA, KEMBARA and KRESMA. According to Elmagd (2016), the effects of physical activities on physical health are to prevent obesity, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the muscles. He stated that there are two factors of obesity which are genetics and the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories expended over a long period of time. Physical activity can burn calories and reduce body fat. Thus, a student can maintain weight loss by joining co-curricular activities. Next, the heart can stay healthy longer if students exercise regularly. This is because the heart can pump more blood through the circulatory system and keep on with working at optimal efficiency with little pressure (Elmagd, 2016). Based on Adetunji et al. (2017) and Kariyana et al. (2012), physical activities such as sports offers healthy lifestyle among students such as avoiding smoking and drinking. This is because they need to maintain a good physical health especially when they are actively involved in sports competition.
Other than physical health, mental health also important in order to produce a holistic student. Students can improve their mental health by joining co-curricular activities. According to Elmagd (2016) and Adetunji et al. (2017), students can reduce stress when joining co-curricular activities. This is because co-curricular activities provide students a welcome break from academic studies. Elmagd (2016) stated that co-curricular activities that require physical activities improves concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can adequate the brain’s reaction to stress. Next, physical activity makes students more tired so they are ready to sleep. He stated that great quality sleep helps boost overall wellness and can minimise stress. Other than that, physical activities can build a sense of enjoyment. For example, if the hobby of a student is playing badminton, he or she can join Badminton Club in UiTM. When students enjoy the co-curricular activities, it will improve their self-esteem and make them feel better about themselves.
Universities are meant to provide quality education and ensure holistic development of the students. One of the ways is by encouraging the students to participate in co-curricular activities. This is because co-curricular activities could affect students’ learning effectiveness. According to Leung, Ng and Chan (2011), the definition of learning effectiveness is the psychosocial components that affect students’ academic performance, motivation and self-efficacy. The more the student’s involvement in college activities, the greater will be the student’s learning.
As students, they need to be healthy in order to perform better in academic by joining co-curricular activities especially in sports. This is because according to Farman et al. (2018), sport activities enhance the working capacity of crucial body systems and boost the degree of alertness. They also stated that physically and mentally alert students like to remain present in their classes. Moreover, students who participate in co-curricular activities have higher probability of college attendance and a lower possibility of dropout (Kariyana, Maphosa & Mapuranga, 2012). This is because students who never skip classes tend to have more understanding in studies. Furthermore, according to Farman et al. (2018), participating in co-curricular activities can improve student’s learning in specific areas such as industry experts giving their knowledge to the students. In addition, according to Leung et al. (2011), Farman et al. (2018) and Kariyana et al. (2012), co-curricular activities affect students’ self-efficacy in learning effectiveness. Involvement in co-curricular activities help to develop student’s confidence in a better way which is essential in their academic process. In academic studies, confidence is the most needed ingredient in academic success (Farman et al, 2018; Kariyana et al, 2012).
However, some researchers oppose the idea that co-curricular activities could improve academic performance. Based on Leung et al. (2011), there is no correlation between co-curricular participation and academic performance as students will be distracted in their regular study when they joining any activities in clubs and organisations. For example, some students are too immerse in doing co-curricular activities such as handling an event until they tend to neglect their studies. Other example is a student who is actively participate in any competition may be tired and lose concentration because of practises or training as it will affect their academic performances.
Significant research has been conducted regarding the involvement of students in co-curricular activities in correlation to success in universities. The more involved universities students in the co-curricular activities, the more they benefit in terms of social skills. There are many elements that can implemented in social skills such as teamwork, communication and self-confidence. Firstly, participation in different co-curricular activities such as team projects and team competitions can improve teamwork skill (Robescu & Manea, 2015). Individuals who have teamwork skill will model teamwork qualities such as respect, cooperation and helpful as well as trust other’s abilities. They can also bring all team members to actively participate in building a group identity, team spirit and highly committed. An excellent individual have to implement cooperative behaviour in every assigned task. Apart from that, they also need to have a sense of confidence for their friends, especially during tasks division either related to the education as well as co-curriculum activities (Mancha & Ahmad, 2016).
Besides teamwork, study also shows that co-curricular activities play a big role in development of communication for students. According to Farman et al. (2018), students who involved in the activities tend to be more capable in communication, learning, self-management and academic competency than those who not. Mancha and Ahmad (2016) explains that students with the communication ability make them both a good talker and listener. They are able to convey an appropriate emotions correspond to the message and can reproach other person’s improper action with cautiously. Hence, that person can receive criticise sincerely. It is also beneficial to students as everyone will be happy to be friends with them.
Study also noted that co-curricular activities can reveal the person’s self-confidence. Farman at al. (2018) believes that the activities can give learners a higher confidence as it acts a significance role in forming learners’ personality. They also assess that confidence and person’s feelings are both correlated with social efficacy as it effect how the person’s perception and knowledge about him or herself. Confidence can cope with what comes and achieve goals successfully (Leung, Ng & Chan, 2011). For example, students always lack of confidence to speak in front of others. This can be overcome by joining co-curricular activities such as debate team, theatre club and others. Self-confidence also help them in future career prospects. Most employers today prefer the workers who have the ability to communicate, capable and have a good character. The skills they developed through co-curricular activities can be applied in the interview process. Therefore, self-confidence is a fundamental to get a better job opportunities.
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