All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
We all have heard this saying over and over again since childhood. This phrase was a bit soothing for me as a child when frantically finding a way under the big pile of homework. A sweet timed escape from all the pressure, maybe.
The PT period, sports days were my favourite as we used to get a chance to run and jump freely on the playground with friends and to know that this was a part of schooling. My school offered good sports facilities that encouraged students to play some sport or the other. Although all I played was dodge-ball (yes, that’s a real sport) and take part in slow cycling during sports days (I used to win, by the way, every year!)
These days, the newspapers have been filled with sports news since the world cup, the recent achievements of Hima Das and the step taken by the Bombay University to introduce a Bachelors in Sports Management Programme. That’s nice, isn’t it?
The Indian flag is waving proudly at various tournament across the globe; a salute to all the athletes out there.
It is important that children get to choose from a variety of sports in their schools as a part of extracurricular activities which will help them build their personality, as a whole.
Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty:
Inculcating the habit of exercising daily from a young age is very important especially when there are cravings of junk and busy lifestyle sneaking around in adulthood. Playing sports automatically inculcates the habit of exercise, eating healthy and staying fit. Children thereby understand the concept of fitness and good nutrition from a very early age.
Understanding what failure means is important in life. Most of all, it is important to get up after falling. The ability to deal with rejection, failure, and sportsmanship can help the child not only as an athlete in the making but in everyday life as well. Playing sports also encourages students to overcome adversities and obstacles and carrying on with their game with grace. They understand that winning or losing doesn’t matter, all that matters is staying in the game and that’s life, isn’t it?
Yes, kids have stress. Being a student is not a piece of cake. They juggle between many things such as being a good kid, scorecards, homework, heavy school bags, exams, class tests, peer pressure, competition, extra homework, etc. While balancing all these things, kids need a break. Going out and playing their favourite game helps relieve stress making it one of the most important benefits of sports for children. It is scientifically proven that playing any sport or any form of physical activity helps relieve a lot of mental stress.
Teamwork is one of the most important abilities every person should possess, be it any profession. Working as a team and progressing as a team is vital in achieving success in life. Playing sports from a young age can develop skills such as team spirit, leadership, and empathy. Also, sports do form life long bonds and friendship as, during a game, the team faces adversities at times and overcomes them, together.
School sports team is the first step to playing for the national team someday. Spotted at the right time, the skills of the budding athletes can be polished and trained and help them achieve success in something they are good at. If talent is discovered at the right age, perhaps can help some child from taking up a path where his or skills lie than just merely following the herd.
Cricket (Men’s cricket to be precise) has taken the place of the most favourite sport in India. Favouritism is harmful, be it having a teacher’s pet in class or glorifying a certain sport so much that the others disappear in the shadow. People should respect, spread awareness and popularize every sport not only after some athlete wins gold or when the hockey team comes into the Olympic spotlight. Favouritism one of the major reasons why sports has taken a back seat in India. All sports are equal and every athlete should get his or her due credit.
We all love listening to inspiring stories of athletes of how they overcame the adversities like lack of facilities, infrastructure, and money to play for their nation. We send them wishes and we think that the job is done. What if there is some other athlete from the same place and facing the same misfortune? What if he or she might not be able to make it national as the former? Are we willing to lose a talent like that? The whole point of the buzz, pride, and inspiration is to help others suffering the adversities and not just listen, get inspired and move on. One more obstacle, check!
Even though sports is considered as one of the most important co-curricular activities in school, it is difficult to get qualified sports teachers. Sometimes, being a sports teachers comes as the last choice which requires being fit, that’s it. It comes across an easy job hence end ups not taken seriously. What we fail to understand is that it is the job with the greatest responsibility to discover the hidden talents in students, train them and pave a way for their success.
In most of the cases, parents treat sports nothing more than a fun activity wanting the children to concentrate more on academics and the numbers on the scorecard. When thought about it objectively, such behaviour of parents stems from the insecurity of their child’s future. When the education system of India is pointing the herd towards engineering and medical with an assurance of financial security, parents eventually ask the children to take up what all the neighbour’s children have opted. After all, they want their children to live a happy and secured life.
The whole chain reaction of stereotypes and majority rules is responsible for sports just being treated as recreation by parents. We need parents to break the chain, understand the importance of sports in school and let the child feel the success of his or her skills.
Ignorance and lack of awareness have always been a cradle for many problems brewing in society. Lack of awareness about a career in sports can make students take up a different career path even after having the required skills and resources. Moreover, lack of encouragement to girls in pursuing a career in sport is one of the major reasons talent has been held back. In rural areas, there is a lack of awareness due to unequal education facilities in the first place while in urban areas, some just choose to ignore.
But there is always a silver lining. No matter what. Few schools in India have identified the importance of sports in our life and are working towards the same. Explore the list of such schools nationwide offering the best sports facilities to their students:
“Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life.”
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