This blog post is contributed by new ParentEdge Blogger Vijay Krishnamurthy. Vijay is the Founder and Head Coach of Groundstrokes Tennis Academy in Bangalore. He is also a Consultant with TENVIC – Anil Kumble Sports Education Private Limited. A sports enthusiast from his childhood days, Vijay has represented Bangalore University in table tennis and then went on to play in the USTA Northern California tennis league between 2000 to 2005. A USPTA Certified Tennis Coach, he has over 10 years of coaching experience, and specialises in coaching children between the ages of 6 and 16.
Sport plays a vital role in modern society. If this statement were to be false, the daily newspaper would not have dedicated sections for sports news, articles and statistics. As a matter of fact, it occupies close to 15% of print media real estate every morning. And that’s quite a lot given today’s explosion of news feed. The majority of us often skim through the sport headlines to find out who won, who lost, which actually is the tip of the iceberg if you ask a professional athlete. For a massive country like India, it’s a lop-sided ratio of active participants versus passive spectators in sport. How then, do we improve that ratio?
A child goes to school to learn how to read, write and speak, which pretty much defines the term literacy. For an Indian school or parent, this is usually linked to being proficient in English, Science and Mathematics. Now that schools understand the ingredients required to learn an academic subject, can they also define what it takes to learn ‘sport’ the same way?
If sufficient time is allocated to sport as part of the curriculum, children can start playing sport at a younger age while they are enrolled in a school. Theory being, if you learn to play a sport then you will certainly know the importance of physical activity combined with the mental focus that comes with it. Once the basics are in place, it can easily lead to life-long sports activity that forms an integral part of one’s social life at a community level.
Well, schools did introduce a P.E. (or Physical Education) class from as long as one can remember. If a school has a small unused piece of land, it is usually called a playground. But is that relevant in today’s changing times? Are there scientifically designed lesson plans executed? Are certified sports coaches recruited? Are the children assessed on their sports progress?