Why are we biased towards the child’s brain and undermine his body is a worrisome question we all need to ask ourselves..
When we talk about schools and their curriculum, it is always the academics that comes to our minds. Most schools are just academic centres and undermine sports. Even when it comes to parent’s perspective, they too seemed to be biased towards academics for various reasons.
It’s us parents/ teachers that need to change our thinking and our attitude towards sports if we want our education system to give sports the due importance. We need to reiterate the fact that sports should be given equal importance in the curriculum. Most schools include sports and promise sports activities to lure parents but when it comes to the reality of actually teaching the sport in the right spirit they shy away.
Let us look into the various reasons why sports has taken a backstage.
1. Ironically the curriculum itself does not make it compulsory or doesn’t treat sports as a core subject.
2. Parents themselves do not give sports the needed priority.
3. They give priority to academics blaming the Indian system of education.
4. They are more worried about how their child has fared in the core subjects like Math, Science, English etc.
5. They are also under the fear that if a child is weak academically he/she loses confidence and hence could feel humiliated.
6. Lack of confidence leads to lack of interest and there are chances of entering the vicious cycle.
7. Pressure from the society for faring well in exams and hence giving undue importance to scoring high grades.
8. This attitude of the parents slackens the spirit of the sports teacher and the school authorities and they could take advantage of it and undermine sports further.
9. Non availability of playground or the infrastructure for outdoor and indoor games.
10. Sports gear is not well maintained.
11. Our curriculum/ Board allocates just about minimum sports periods.
12. The duration of the games period is small, so not much can be done in it.
13. The above reasons slacken the spirit of the sports teachers and so he/she fails to motivate his pupils to be interested and become active sportsmen.
14. Many a times the sports teacher is not an inspirational figure .

Encouraging sports to the point that it is considered a core subject only will change the above. It is a dire necessity that we make sports compulsory in schools. Different Games should be introduced in schools and children to be given the choice to chose them. The child should be taught the same sport/game for a minimum of two years to be properly introduced to it and to practice the game with all its rules and to learn the right techniques. Once the child is really interested he should be given an option to further continue it or if he is disinterested then to give him another choice of a game.
The board of studies are trying to do their bit. Many of the popular curriculums set guidelines on the following:
1. Playground size
2. Expertise of the sports teachers and coaches.
3. The equipments and how they should be maintained.
4. How the students should be trained for the sport and how they should be assessed etc.
All the guidelines are chalked out and laid out, but as stated above, due to the various reasons, sports does take a back stage.
A conscious effort from all, the Board of studies, School Management, Teachers and the Parents alone will change this worrisome scenario.
Playing is the most natural aptitude of a child. And we have become successful in stopping children from their most natural instinct. What can be more worrisome then this?

We all know the benefits of sports in our lives. For all those who are overtly worried about a child’s brain development need to introspect the fact that ‘Only a healthy body keeps a healthy mind.’

Organised games have their own benefits, there is not a shred of doubt about it. Along with it I would go a step further to suggest that ‘Free Play’ amongst children should also be encouraged. Children grow in spirit and maturity when they indulge in free play.

Let us nurture them in an environment they are naturally adapt too. Let us give them the gift of nature of paying in the open air and see for ourselves how they blossom in their lives.

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