Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Sports is as critical as academic pursuits

Published:Friday | September 18, 2020 | 12:08 AM


Sports is an integral part of the experience of many schoolchildren, likewise academia plays a most pivotal part in the dynamism of the average school-aged child. Both are critical in the development and advancement. But there always seems to be a bias to those who are pro-education from those who are pro-sports, so people gravitate to the former with great vigour. There is no disputing the importance of academia in the advancement of children, their families and their communities. Education is definitely a getaway or vehicle for those who are marginalised in our society and are in dire need of a most refreshing break from substandard living.

As a physical education teacher who, I think, grasped the fundamental functions of both worlds, from personal experience of teaching the subject for 31 years, I think I have the requisite capacity to make a declaration. Without sports and games, the world could never have been on firm footing, because of the amount of hypokinetic diseases which would have affected a lot of children. Without the intervention of coaches and players of games and other practitioners, we would have had an imbalance, a definite health deficit in many sectors of our society. The number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases would have been high.

Sports is important for the overall development, and there needs to be a greater appreciation and encouragement for schoolchildren who want to pursue sports as a career. Schoolchildren who are pro-sports get a raw deal if they intend to pursue a life career of sports. They are misinterpreted, and often told that they are taking ‘ramping’ as a career.

Some students cannot meet the minimum matriculation for colleges and universities, while others have their interest in sports rather than in academic pursuits. They would rather play the sport they love for their lifetime and earn a living from it.