As George Sheehan once said, “Sport is an essential element of education”. The fact that sports and academics resemble the two sides of the same coin have been largely forgotten, and when remembered, under-appreciated. While many of the school’s subjects are taught primarily in the classroom, sports education provides students with an opportunity to go outside the walls of the classroom, get active, and explore on develop lifelong skills.
The benefits of having sports education incorporated curriculum are vast and stretch far beyond the physical gains. This article explores the 5 Reasons why Sports Education is important, now more than ever.
PROMOTES GOOD HEALTH
With rising health concerns among pre-adolescents and adolescents escalating rapidly and making them opt for a sedentary lifestyle, sports education at an early age acts as a great outlet of any kind to help prepare them to improve health and wellbeing that can benefit them for the rest of their life.
One can realize the importance of it by witnessing various national and international sporting events, where athletes represent their countries and bring laurels. Neeraj Chopra, who clinched India’s first-ever gold medal in athletics at the Olympics, had an obese childhood. At 12, he weighed more than 90 kilos. It took a bit of nudge from his family to convince him to hit the gym and attain a basic level of fitness and the rest is history.
HELPS ACQUIRE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS THEY NEED FOR LIFE
Sport is healing and empowering especially at a young age. It is not just good for fitness; it’s good for developing social skills too. And having introduced to as many sports as possible at a young age helps students to acquire social skills that go far beyond the playing field; skills that will serve them greatly for the rest of their lives.
More than igniting passion and courage, it helps to develop a range of skills such as cooperation, following the rules, accepting decisions and understanding that they could be penalised for bad behaviour, and to listen to others opinion.
For instance, sports education also makes one bond over a shared love of a sport, club or individual athlete or a player, be it because they are both Liverpool FC fans or because they both want to be the next Lionel Messi. Such friendships forged on the bonds of sport last a lifetime.
CONTRIBUTE TO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Sports is the perfect channel for young children to develop character hugely. It also helps them learn about how to approach others and work with them which they can later apply in life.
Many studies have also suggested that sports education in formative years of childhood can contribute to the development of self-esteem in kids. A pat on the back, a high-five from a friend, or a handshake with an opponent at the end of a match (even in the face of defeat), is all character building.
Ace shooter Elavenil Valarivan often stressed how taking up a sport like shooting at a young age allowed her to overcome her short-temperedness and to have a successful career in shooting and academics.
During her school days, ace shooter Elavenil Valarivan wanted to be a track and field athlete and compete at the highest level. She was short-tempered and often prone to enrage even for a little thing. However, taking up shooting at a young age helped her curb anger issues and characters a lot. In the end, she had not only found a hobby in sports, but also a means of worth.
DEVELOP GOOD LIFE LONG HABITS
Fostering an interest in sports culture at a young age is a crucial step in developing good life habits that will remain long after the cleats have been hung up for the last time.
Being able to understand an array of sports or hobbies enables them to be part of something bigger than the classroom. School days are the time many bad habits occur in the daily routine that most of us are not even aware of. The routine can cause more harm than good and can be detrimental to their growth.
Successful students tend to have more of the kinds of habits that contribute to their accomplishments. And fortunately, sports provide them with a range of good habits that they need to reach their targeted goals. The love and passion for sports would eventually help them to develop good habits and make sports a part of their routine to stay fit. As a result, students may find a real passion for a particular sport, start attending matches and may even go on to pursue a career within the sporting industry.
Shreya Verma is a perfect example of making your passion a full-time career. Shreya is a post-graduation student in political science and also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. From the shooting range to the writing room Shreya offers astute observations and analysis talking not only about the shooting but also other Olympic sports in a different way to how the public may see it.
ACADEMIC AND CAREER SUCCESSES
Sports is a great endorphin and adrenaline release which elevates the mood and relieves stress. A good mood leads to good performance in other fields as well, particularly in studies. What many don’t understand is that what you learn in the field is an indirect and practical outcome of all the subjects you have learned in academia. The basics of Physics, Maths, Geography are applicable in every level of the sports field as well.
Gone are the days when playing sports was thought to be for school dropouts. Now, if just looking around, you would find dozens of athletes who believe that sports and academics go well together. Star paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, shuttler Tanya Hemanth, and swimmer Veer Khatkar to name a few who have shown that it’s possible to do well on the field and in the classroom.
There aren’t many things that are both fun and fulfilling in terms of youth development than sports. It is vital to encourage sports education at a young age but it should be normalized as oriented culture by parents, schools, colleges, educational institutions and community at large scale which eventually help students to learn about a broad range of topics related to health, social integration, mental development and many more. As such, we need to move beyond taboos and acknowledge the importance of sports education to ensure a great and healthful future for our younger ones. Understanding the challenges, The Sports School offers a flexible educational curriculum that provides a tailor-made academic schedule to athletes, built around their sporting commitments. We encourage & provide means to our students, from Grade 5 to Post Graduation, to balance their pursuit for sporting excellence without compromising on their academics.