Most people would say that the education one receives in school is about classroom learning, syllabus, homework, projects, thinking – mental activity, board exams, entrance exams, our career, something that is the essence of what it means to be human. Fine ! But, what most of the people feel about sports is a very narrow perspective as games and sports are merely recreational, a physical activity, and therefore less important. We at The Sunshine International School believe that to be human is to have both mental and physical abilities.
Education helps people understand their world, to get along in a changing and complex society, to appreciate its benefits and recognize its dangers. We may think of education as a means and participation in civilization as the end. The more education you have, the more you can participate. In contrast, people usually think of the benefits of sports
differently. Sports provide personal pleasure, enjoyment of the game and the pleasure of competence, camaraderie with other players (including opponents), and sometimes the exultation of winning. Where education is thought to be necessary, sports are thought to be optional.
People and individuals who subscribe to this view prefer schools in which the physical development of students is ignored. In the UK for example, four decades of government hostility to competition in any form at school has led to the majority of schools not offering games at all: now that country has among the highest rates of teenage obesity and diabetes in the world. Their most recent government policy initiative (Jan 2007) has once again stated the urgent need for sports to be re-established in schools if the country is to overcome the rising rate of chronic health problems among its youth.
Here in India, we are fortunate in that sport is valued and is still largely based on the school system. This has ensured that the majority of schools have retained a sports programme of some kind and while some may remain traditional in the extreme, the more progressive schools have diversified their sports offering to accommodate the growing diversity in our country. The better schools will have sports programmes that are flexible and individualized and yet the importance of team sports is also recognized.
How Sports are like Education
We believe that sports participation is more than just fun, more than optional recreation. It helps to build character. It teaches leadership. One learns to try harder when things get tough instead of giving up, to persevere, to concentrate, to practice. One learns how to compete with friends, to play with people one does not like, to consider game strategies, even to sit on the bench. One learns the capabilities of one’s body, to have a positive self-image, to have greater self-confidence.
The clichéd metaphors about being “team players,” about “playing the game,” “playing by the rules,” “good sportsmanship,” even “knowing the score,” all testify to the value of sports participation in learning to flourish in our society. And that is exactly what education is all about: to provide the tools for success in our culture and the means to participate fully in the world.
Being the prime facilitator and beneficiary of the success of a child, a parent must help the learning institution to implement its programmes. He/she should encourage his/her child to participate in school programmes actively.
Learning is a life time process. Many new things are bound to come. But it is an unchangeable fact that learning without games and sporting activities is a boring and tiring journey to undertake. There is therefore an immense need to effectively balance the two for excellent results. This has been, is and will be top most secret in The Sunshine International School. Every student has to partake in at least 7 games every week.
We have physical activity programs for children with a focus on fundamental movement skills. Sport and physical activity is a valued and accepted part of our school’s curriculum, contributing to the development of the whole child. It provides a vehicle for social, physical, emotional and moral learning and is an important expression of our culture.The participation, enjoyment and skill development of our students is the corner-stone of the school sport/ physical activity program. All our students take part in this program.