Someone has rightly said, “Sports are more than just games; they are about life, emotion, passion, and some of the greatest highs and lows that we can experience.” Over the years, academic learning and sports education have become complementary to each other. Experts in the education field believe that these are the two sides of the coin and both are necessary for developing all-round personality of a child. Schools in the Tricity are nowadays giving due attention to include top class sporting facilities for their students. Sports have also been included as a subject in school curriculum.

Not only the school administrations, even parents are paying special attention to this aspect. They properly research the sporting facilities of school prior to getting their children admitted. “It’s important to expose children to a variety of sporting activities like cricket, basketball, badminton, hockey, football, swimming, tennis, etc. These activities help them develop into a strong personality,” says Amit Khanna, parent of a class II student.

Talking about the importance of sports in a school student’s life, Sanjeev Vashisht, a cricket coach at a private school, opines, “The hope of country is to have citizens of character. This can be achieved by developing healthy bodies. Schools should have provisions for all major sports and games like cricket and football. Schools should promote the sporting spirit by hosting annual sports tournaments. Such activities not only give students a chance to learn about sports but also to compete in a healthy manner.”

Academic education is credited for the prosperity of a student in his career, but it’s the sports which inculcate the qualities of leadership, tolerance, sharing and team-spirit in a student. As HS Sandhu, principal of a school, puts it, “The very first benefit of inculcating sports activities is that it makes students organised as well as disciplined. While playing sports, we sometimes lose and win. The spirit of competition evolves within the students and it further prepares them to face the defeat in a competitive manner. Secondly, these physical activities are good for the health of students. Thirdly, students learn about team work. Playing in a team at school-level will prepare them to work in team when they step into their professional life. Moreover, they can make a career in sports field.”

In order to enhance the sporting spirit amongst the students, the schools in the Tricity have included a related subject by the name physical education. Anju Sharma, sports teacher of a city-based school, shares, “Physical education is an optional subject provided to students. By choosing this subject, they can get involved into physical activities during their school time and can take up any one sport activity like cricket, table tennis, etc. Students can learn about sports in detail through theoretical knowledge as well as practically too.”

Manjit Singh, chairman of a private school, informs, “The basic thing is that students nowadays are good at academics but lack in sports. Hence, giving them one hour training in different sports activities boosts their morale as well as they remain fit and learn about various sports activities. It’s important for schools to have trained sports teachers in school. Moreover, a sports period of one hour in the regular time-table of students helps to train them practically.”

Today, not only the boys, girls too are at the same level and are giving tough competition to their male counterparts in sports. Supporting the changing scenario, Damanjit Kaur, a housewife says, “It’s a good sign where we see female sporting stars like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Mary Kom making our nation proud. I too know many female kids in my family who were earlier quite lazy but since they started taking part in the sport activities in school, they’ve become quite active and healthy. Their decision-making power has been increased. They have also become more co-operative. Moreover, given the remuneration and growing prospects in the games like cricket, football, tennis and squash, it’s an equally alluring career option.”

Another parent Maninder Kaur, says, “It is the time when girls need to become smarter and physically fit. By taking up various sports and games like judo and karate they can learn various techniques of self defense, as the cases of crimes against girls have increased gradually. Including sports in the daily school routine is must.”

Source: Times of India