Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and former American footballer Julie Foudy once famously said, “Sports not only build better athletes but also better people.” How true indeed! Sports Education is not just about performing a set routine over and over again or a fun activity for recreation. It is also about learning essential values, life skills which is otherwise hard to teach in theory. Sports’ power on an international level cannot be underrated as well. It has the capability of defining a nation’s development as a whole.
Indian Education Outlook Towards Sports
Traditionally, sports has never been an integrated part of the Indian education system in general. We (sadly) have all faced a scenario when our beloved Physical Training classes were hijacked by the science teacher under the pretext of “syllabus completion”.
Not much support was received from the parents as well when it came to playing back at home. In the rigid society where high percentages are a measure of intellectual capability, one can least blame them.
The one who is to really blame for this situation is the rigid structure of the education system in the country. It’s not that sports isn’t a part of the curriculum. In fact, most of the state and national boards have sports as a major subject for Class X. However, that is where its importance ends. The inclusion of sports in the syllabus is just for the sake of formality.
And it all comes down to just one word – Respect. Sports is, more often than not, viewed as an unworthy past-time activity for the pupils’ recreation. Students doing well in a particular sport are still viewed as one of the most ‘distracted’ lost of the class.
The current education system focuses on the students’ mental development while ignoring the physical growth.
Importance of Sports Education
Sports play a vital role in making children strong from inside while inculcating the importance of maintaining a fit and sound body. It helps in the development of focus and concentration, in-turn assists during studies. Sports education directly impacts on maintaining the children’s wellbeing as well as increasing their physical stamina. It helps in developing muscle memory, strength, and overall bodily coordination.
Sports Education is a prevalent misconception that sports only helps towards physical development. It teaches many life skills including team spirit and coordination. A well-played game has the power of instilling such values like self-motivating spirit, discipline, leadership, taking ownership of success as well as failures.
In fact, Sports teaches children to get up after losing a match, learn from the mistakes and improve their game. This indomitable, never-say-die attitude that gets imbibed in them sticks throughout life, whether or not they play regularly. Sports, thus, prepare children well for challenges of the life they would face in adulthood. This is exactly the reason why some of the world’s most prestigious universities value excellence in sports education.
Moreover, playing on a regular basis is one of the best stress busters for the students. It is a great medium to keep the mind, body, and soul synchronized with one another and to maintain a proper balance. And then, if one does well in a particular discipline, there is always the chance of making a career in it.
Government’s Steps Towards Sports Education
Understanding its importance in the betterment of students’ overall growth, the Indian government has taken strong steps towards the development of sports education in the country.
In September 2017, the Union Cabinet passed the decision of a revamped Khelo India programme at a cost of ₹ 1,756 crores over a period of four years. 2017-18 to 2019-20. The programme objectives are to the mainstream sport as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development as well as national development. The scheme aims at providing a scholarship of up to ₹ 5 lakhs to meritorious individuals demonstrating excellence in sports.
In August last year, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made an announcement of making games period mandatory in schools while reducing the syllabus by 50% by next year.
“We have come to a stage where sports is not a part of education, it is education. The ministry of education is ensuring that the syllabus in schools by 2019 is reduced by 50% and there will be a sports period on a regular basis,” he said. It is, thus, vital to promote sports education in India.
For more updates on sports, stay tuned to KreedOn, the voice of Indian sports.