National Public School, Vijayanagar, Mysore
Educators and parents have realised that Education and Sports go hand in hand; therefore educational institutes must be the centre of academic as well as sports excellence. While we may need to push our children to study, sports are something they get naturally drawn to.
The young kids in particular, are full of energy that needs to be properly channelized and what better way than sports? In fact, studies have shown that kids who regularly participate in at-least one physical activity are on an average better at studies as well.
But our society, at large has underestimated the importance of sports for personal growth, more so in schools and colleges where it is sometimes considered to be a play-time activity to be taken-up after studies. Adding to our worries is the lack of quality sports infrastructure in our educational institutions - both Public and Private, perhaps one of the biggest bottlenecks in developing a sporting culture in our society. This is a known problem with several athletes having voiced their concern for the lack of proper sporting facilities at the grass-root level.
The government on its part was not very enthusiastic about sports until 2010, when India hosted Commonwealth Games in Delhi. London Olympics was a turning point when we won 6 medals and stars such as Sushil Kumar, Abhinav Bindra, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza were born. They not only gave an impetus to their respective sports categories but helped glamorize it.
Bethany High, Kormangala
Since then, an increasing number of kids have shown inclination towards different sports, equally heartening is to see a growing numbers of sports facilities all across India. The government too have introduced numerous schemes to improve the status of sports infrastructure; noticeable among them is KHELO INDIA National Programme, a composite scheme of Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to promote sports in India, which received Rs. 1262.79 crore in the Union Budget, 2018.
The Government expects KHELO INDIA to scout young talents from schools in various disciplines and groom them as future sports champions. Talented players under priority sports disciplines will be selected by a committee and each one of them will be provided an annual financial assistance of Rs. 5 Lakhs for 8 years.
“KHELO INDIA programme has certainly provided the much needed booster to the inculcation of sports culture in schools and colleges, the success of recently concluded Khelo India School Games, 2018 speaks volumes of the transformation we are going through”, says Edgar Mascarenhas, former International Hockey Player and Coach.
The government seems to be serious in inculcating a sporting culture into the society, a fact noticeable by all. Educational Institutions in particular have sprung up to the forefront by increasingly assimilating international level sporting facilities at their campuses.
“I encourage my kids to participate in all kinds of sports activities, be it running, swimming, football, badminton etc. you never know what they are good at. The best part is, their school has great sports infrastructure facilities like 400m running track, artificial turf for football and modular sports flooring for basketball etc.”, says Shiva Kumar from Hyderabad, a proud parent to his kids.
MDS SR. SEC. School, Hiran Magri, Udaipur
“Parents these days are super selective when it comes to enrolling their kids in a school; they want the best of both education and sports be made available to their ward. We have taken the initiative to provide good quality synthetic football turf, synthetic running track, modular sports flooring for multi-purpose games such as Basketball, Volleyball, and Tennis etc. Children simply love them”, says M S Parswanath, Director-Projects & Facilities, Jain University, Bengaluru.
Sports Infrastructure companies like Great Sports Infra, are making the most of this opportunity by customizing their solutions to suit the necessities of schools and colleges. Increasing requirements from educational institutions have grown to form a significant portion of their yearly revenue.
“A significant part of our program is to offer appropriate solutions to schools. Our most popular range for schools have been our maintenance free artificial turf (FieldTurf), synthetic athletic track (Porplastic) and interlocking modular sports flooring (SnapSports), which are ideal for schools as they provide a multi-sport surface and which can also serve non-sports use”, says Anil Kumar, MD of Great Sports Infra.
There is virtually a race within the schools to outdo each other in terms of better sporting facilities that not only plays a great role in the overall development of a student but also in valuing them among the peers.
New Horizon Gurukul, Marathalli, Bangalore