The research used a phenomenological approach to examine the lived experiences of lecturers and students in the
COVID-19 pandemic in the sports science school at the University of Technology, Jamaica. The results indicated that
both lecturers and students endured physical and mental discomforts (e.g., weight gain and stress) in the transition to
online learning. Through proactive leadership by the Head of School to put measures in place to alleviate some of the
issues, sport science studies could continue with improved percentage passes throughout the period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every facet of the lives of sport science studies which required a rapid transition into the virtual space. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport science studies at Utech, Ja. through the lived experiences of staff and students. The research took the form of an interpretive phenomenological design that utilized an interpretive phenomenological analysis. The research employed a semi-structured interviewing process for the head of school, the program director, four lecturers, and five students (two from the athletic training program, two from the sports management program, and one student from the coaching program). Documentary analysis was also used to examine the percentage grades from semester 1 2019 and the grades for semester 1 2020 to determine if there were any anomaly between the two semesters.
The results of the research suggest that sport science studies change and adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly to facilitate the continuation of sport science studies. The results also indicated that students’ performance was impacted positively and negatively in different areas, however, the proactive leadership that was shown by the head of school helped to alleviate some of the implications.
Keywords: Sports Science Studies, Phenomenology, Virtual Learning