Sports In The Age Of Covid-19: How do we need to adapt?
Like every other activity, sports have taken a huge hit due to Covid-19, and children and adults have been deprived of sporting activities. Sports constitute an important aspect of a child’s development and more so in recent years where it has been given the same importance as education. It is very important to stay fit and engage in a sporting activity as a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. However, with Covid-19 impacting education, sporting activities seem to have stopped, affecting children and their physical capabilities. Not playing sports has led to many children being obese. Parents should ensure that their children engage in some physical activity to remain healthy. Sporting activities allow blood pressure levels to remain normal while also keeping a check on sugar and fat levels.
While all other activities in the world have resumed, it is only sports and education which is yet to begin. While staying away from schools has deprived children of sporting activities, they can be encouraged by their parents to join a club or an academy which can help them remain fit, pick up a sport, and learn a new skill. This will help them develop an interest in sports and understand if they are naturally talented in a sport and whether it can be picked up as a career option in the future. With all other activities resuming, there is no reason why sports should not resume. Indulging in sporting activities also has other benefits. It teaches children to be disciplined and patient because when they learn a new skill, they have to practice for countless hours before they can perfect it.
There is no doubt that parents will be concerned about the safety of their children before sending them to sporting activities in these times. However, various measures have been taken to ensure that children stay safe. For example, in cricket, new rules have been made mandating that players do not use their saliva on the ball and sanitize themselves before taking the field to ensure that they do not spread the virus if they are infected. Moreover, cricket is a non-contact sport, and players do not touch each other. Similarly, groups and teams can be smaller whenever possible to ensure the virus does not spread. Also, there can be certain provisions for children to bring their own equipment to ensure their safety. Add to that the use of masks and social distancing in non-contact sports like tennis, table tennis, badminton, and shooting, and sports become extremely safe.
Moreover, children can be motivated by scheduling weekly or bi-weekly tournaments and activities, encouraging them to practice sports and perform well in tournaments. Participating in tournaments will give them match experience, make them more responsible and accountable, and add to their curriculum vitae, helping them later in life. Children will also learn skills like teamwork when playing in a team and develop interpersonal skills that will help them socially when they interact with others.
Another option for parents to keep their children healthy while prioritizing safety is engaging them in indoor sports. With modern facilities, most sports like cricket and football can also be played indoors these days, ensuring safety. They can have indoor nets for cricket or small turfs for football where children can practice and improve their skills and fitness. This will ensure that they do not lose touch with the sport and their skills are sharpened. Moreover, some indoor sports can be played at the terrace too, and children can also engage in drills and activities instead of games to be safe.
There is no doubt that children are missing out on sports because of the virus and, on average, have been eating and sleeping more. Moreover, not going out to play and interacting with others has led to isolation, which in many cases has led to depression and other mental disorders. They have missed learning a sport and the many skills that come with sports. Their fitness has suffered, and screen time has increased. With all these disadvantages, children must resume playing sports in some form or the other as soon as possible, so that they do not suffer more than they already have. The changes and the safety measures proposed above will ensure that children are safe and healthy, both factors being equally important.
The Sports School, a Kalpen Ventures initiative, in association with JAIN GROUP OF INSTITUTIONS (JGI), a 28-year-old educational conglomerate, aims for a holistic approach to educate and guide students. With 85 institutes across India, JGI not only brings in elite thought leadership but also focuses on empowering talent across the nation by encouraging curiosity, learning, and initiative. JGI’s alumni include over 10+ Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan Awardees and 300+ sportsperson of International and National repute. Our world-class infrastructure and amenities include unbeatable installations that are exclusively designed to optimize the intellectual, personal, and social development of young and professional sportspeople.