Sports Education - An Integral Part Of The Educational Curriculum

Games and sport-based activities have formed a dominant part of the physical education curriculum with an interest in providing a meaningful and culturally situated sporting experience to students. Sport education is among the most popularly implemented and researched pedagogical model worldwide.

The Indian Government recognised the importance of adopting sports as part of successful youth development as early as 1984 to form the National Sports Policy which made sports and physical education an integral part of the school curriculum, as per website India Today.

National Sports Policy, 2011 stresses the value of sports and physical education in developing human capital, increasing productivity, and in fostering social harmony.

Games and sport-based activities have formed a dominant part of the physical education curriculum with an interest in providing a meaningful and culturally situated sporting experience to students. Sport education is among the most popularly implemented and researched pedagogical model worldwide. 

Young people spend a large portion of their time at schools and colleges. A significant amount of learning takes place in these institutes. Along with quality education, it is vital that sports and physical education are made an accessible and regular part of learning during these formative years. This naturally makes organised sports a vital component of social and academic experiences for many students. Activities that encourage physical movement and exercise in students create an enjoyable experience for students in schools and colleges. 

When sports are made an integral part of the curriculum, students report healthier eating habits, better levels of cardiovascular fitness, increased parental support, and decreased levels of anxiety and depression. A national study also displayed a positive correlation between student-athletes and decline in drug, alcohol, and substance abuse. 

Some other benefits of sports education include:

  • Introducing young people to the importance of a healthy lifestyle early in their lives by instilling the habit and culture of taking up outdoor activities
  • Introduction of a sports curriculum at an early stage so that is can serve as a building block for future sportspersons and other professionals in the sports industry.
  • It can develop a strong ecosystem, along with other stakeholders such as authorities, federations, sports clubs, etc
  • Availability of educational opportunities through scholarships for underprivileged talent.

Schools and colleges in India are slowly but steadily starting to realise the value of sports in the overall development of children. There is a rise in the support and encouragement levels towards students taking up sports right from the school level. This is reflected in the deliberate inclusions of sports during curriculum planning, making it an essential part of the present-day education system. 

Even the government recognises these advantages and has also introduced sports programmes at the grassroot level to build a sound framework for various sports that are played all over the country. These programmes are even meant to target the entire sports ecosystem, including sports infrastructure, talent identification, coaching for excellence, and competition structure, and sports economy.

The growing awareness of the contribution of sports to the lives of children and young people with regards to life skills, personality development, and even career-propelling qualities like trust, shared responsibilities, and working together has led parents and educators  to encourage children to take up sports. This is particularly relevant in the Indian context where the focus has entirely on been on academics for a long time. 

An interesting shift has been witnessed in the mindset of parents as well, and they are more appreciative of the value of a physically fit body and the overall health benefits sports education provides. Especially with the lifestyles, we are leading today, infusing sports with education at progressive levels of education is the way forward to changing mindsets of the entire community towards sports education. There are a number of campaigns that are focussed on the integration of sports and education that cut across the diversity of our country to make people more cognizant of the merits of sports in education. 

The education sector has an important role in promoting sports in India.   Sports education goes beyond building physical stamina to instil qualities such as determination, willpower, discipline, and team spirit.

In recent years, sport as a discipline has expanded beyond its previously defined boundaries. It is no longer limited to only sportspersons and playing sports; a number of professions have come up that combine business and sports. This phenomenon has caused an increase in the demand for dedicated, skilled professionals in the many areas associated with the business of sport.

Globally, the sports industry has a unifying appeal. This industry boasts of a dynamic appeal that most other industries worldwide are envious of. It holds the power to define nations as a whole. The sports industry offers the perfect opportunity to generate employment and revenue and the potential for its growth in our country is fuelled by our recent transition from a single sport nation to a multi-sport country. Sports business and as a consequence the education in proliferating at an unprecedented rate this is only expected to grow in the years to come.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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