Beyond the medals tally!
Today is the Day 9 of the 2018 Asian Games and I can’t help glancing the medals tally three times a day to check where India stands at the table. China has amassed 178 medals already, with India now ranked 9th at 37 medals. Although India is as populated as China, we are 20% of China’s medals tally? Without wondering what China did right, lets dig into ourselves first.
Sport plays a vital role in modern society.
If this statement were to be false, our daily newspapers would not have dedicated sections for sports news, articles and statistics. As a matter of fact, it occupies close to 15% of print media real estate every morning. And that’s quite a lot given today’s explosion of news feed. The majority of us often skim through the sport headlines to find out who won, who lost, which actually is the tip of the iceberg if you ask a professional athlete. For a massive country like India, it’s a lop-sided ratio of active participants versus passive spectators in sport. How then, do we improve that ratio?
A child goes to school to learn how to read, write and speak, which pretty much defines the term literacy. For an Indian school or parent, this is usually linked to being proficient in English, Science and Mathematics. Now that schools understand the ingredients required to learn an academic subject, how hard is to design a similar blueprint for a subject called ‘sport’?
If sufficient time is allocated to sport as part of the curriculum, children can start playing sport at a younger age while they are enrolled in a school. If you learn to play a sport then you will certainly know the importance of physical activity combined with the mental focus that comes with it. Once the basics are in place, it can easily lead to life-long sports activity that forms an integral part of one’s social life at a community level.
Well, schools did introduce a P.E. (or Physical Education) class from as long as one can remember.
But is that relevant in today’s changing times?
Are there scientifically designed lesson plans executed? Are certified sports coaches recruited by Schools? Are the children assessed on their sports skills consistently? Can the children get marks credit for sports?
These are questions that we as a society need to question, if we ever plan to catch up with our neighbour China ..