On 7th August 2021, Neeraj Chopra became India’s first olympian to win gold in athletics. A proud moment for a country like India that has only seven gold medals to its name, Chopra’s win came after a nine-year streak.
It must be noted that a diverse country like India, which has the second-largest population globally, has only 35 Olympic medals to its name. Countries with a much smaller population have many more medals than India. For instance, Japan is a proud country to have bagged 497 medals so far.
Just like academics, sports cannot be mastered overnight. It must be taught to kids from kindergarten. Not only is it about winning medals for the country in the Olympics, but sports and fitness have an overall impact on the child’s body and mind.
It is reported that more than 135 million people suffer from obesity in India. This is purely due to the absence of a fitness regime. Of course, people cannot develop the habit of exercising overnight. It must come from the grassroots level.
Like children, they need to be exposed to enjoyable activities and a learning experience that takes care of their overall well-being, and what better than sports?
Here are some of the reasons that explain the benefits of sports which will help students and children in ways that we are less aware of.
Importance of sports for students in schools
Schools are regarded as the ‘second home’ of every child. They are credited with shaping young minds into responsible adults and leaders of tomorrow. One such concept that drives students towards being better citizens and national leaders is learning beyond classroom boundaries, where sports play a paramount role.
When playing a sport, a student’s character-building traits are enhanced. Besides that, their academic performance improves, and it boosts their physical and mental health. Here are some more benefits and pointers that will help you analyze the importance of sports in schools for students.
- Inculcates discipline
Sports require strategy, obedience, and discipline. When students follow the rules, guidelines and learn to obey their coach, they reach their full potential and perform with complete dedication. Sports inculcates tactical and physical discipline that drives these young children towards leading a well-balanced and disciplined life.
- Improves interaction abilities
When playing in a team, students are required to coordinate with their teammates to plan a strategy collectively. They have to learn to interact with people coming from different backgrounds and age groups.
They must always be respectful. When sports activities teach these qualities to students, they begin reflecting positively on their personal lives. Moreover, when they interact with their opponents, they have to be respectful and accept defeat without holding grudges. They learn the art of handling constructive criticism, which is very useful in real-life scenarios.
- Character Development Through Sports
- Self-esteem and self-confidence booster
You must have witnessed teammates giving each other a high-five when one of them scores a goal, a basket, or takes a magnificent wicket. You must have also seen coaches praising their students. Such gestures have a positive impact on the child’s consciousness. He begins to feel empowered, and that boosts his self-esteem and confidence.
- Promotes Emotional and Mental fitness
Daily exercise and sports activities develop not just a healthy body but all a healthy mind. It creates happiness and helps the students to acquire ethics, tolerance, persistence, and respect for peers.
An active student has a more positive outlook towards life and they learn to deal with success as well as their losses.
2. Physiological Benefits Through Sports
- Reduced risk of obesity
Sports promote fitness, and fitness promotes a healthy lifestyle. The more physical activity, the better it is to keep diseases at bay. One of the significant advantages of being fit is the prevention of obesity. Obesity is directly linked to leading life-threatening triggers such as heart stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure levels.
- Balanced body growth and development
The stress caused by physical activities and sports has a positive impact on the human body. It tightens the skin and improves and strengthens the muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments. It also increases bone density and keeps porous and fragile bones at bay.
- Stabilizes blood pressure levels
Blood pressure is directly related to stress levels. If your stress is not under control, it can prove to be fatal. Indulging into sports regularly will ease down a child’s insufficient cholesterol level and unhealthy fat deposits, thus cutting down the risk of developing heart diseases later in life.
- Reduced risk of cancer
Several studies and researches have shown that being physically active can cut down chances of being affected by most forms of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate cancer.
3. Performance Enhancement through Sports
- Academic performance
Physical activity has time and again been shown to be impactful on the cognitive abilities of students. It helps them think clearly, improves concentration skills, and refreshes their minds.
- Develops Teamwork and Cooperation
Participating in any sports matches or competitions requires discipline, teamwork, and coordination. Students learn to cooperate with their teammates and develop their sportsman spirit.
Final takeaways and facts
Existing evidence suggests that regular exercise and physical fitness enhance the academic performance of students and develops mental strength in them.
Besides that, the skills required to perform academically well (such as focus and memory recall) are boosted by intense aerobic activities. Learning seems easier when students are focused and have good grasping and memory recall abilities.
Sports have an impeccable effect on a student’s overall development that includes personality and fitness. Hence, it should be a major part of the school curriculum and emphasis must be on producing confident, healthy, and mentally strong students.