Gone are the days when sports was viewed as the domain of the exceptionally gifted. Today, both schools and parents are recognising the importance of sports integration into the general curriculum to foster a student’s overall growth. With benefits such as improved stamina, reduced rates of anxiety and heightened cognitive abilities, sports integration is not just a nice-to-have but a must to develop a stronger, healthier next generation.
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How sports allows for holistic development in children
We live in a world where the Internet is accessible to all. This often tempts children to spend their free time watching shows or playing video games. A sedentary lifestyle from an early age leads to health issues like weight gain and increased risk of heart disease and also makes the mind more sluggish.
Integrating sports and outdoor exercise into the school curriculum encourages students to lead an active lifestyle right from childhood. Playing sports has myriad health benefits, including muscle strengthening, improved coordination, better blood circulation and weight loss. The psychological impact of sports is also considerable. Often, students get stressed over grades and projects and are unable to process these feelings. Playing sports gives them a healthy way to work off negative emotions and feel energised and positive again. This improved mental health also helps them be more productive throughout their day.
There are social benefits to playing sports as well. As students form bonds with their fellow athletes, they learn the values of team spirit and working together. The positivity that comes with regular exercise helps them strengthen their personality and have a go-getter attitude towards problem-solving. Plus, the inherent sense of competition in sports infuses students with the desire to learn, grow and excel – which will hold them in good stead no matter which career they choose.
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The link between sports and academic performance
Studies have repeatedly shown that regular exercise leads to improved performance in academic subjects. A UK study of 5000 children and adolescents found a strong link between exercise and improved exam performance in mathematics, science and English. Brain scans of those who added exercise to a formerly sedentary life were observed to develop increased volume in the hippocampus, frontal and temporal lobes, all of which are associated with cognitive ability. Having a schedule that balances sports and study will help students be more productive at the latter as they improve their strength, stamina and mental health through the former. Improved cognitive ability, moreover, will enable them to excel in their higher studies and also make them valuable assets in sports-related industries, such as training and nutrition, sports marketing or sports psychology.
How The Sports School is making a difference
At The Sports School in Bangalore, academics and athletics converge to form a unique curriculum that helps young athletes explore their all-round potential. The school provides each student with all the resources they need to excel, including world-class coaching, tailored nutrition plans and counselling support, in an environment that facilitates optimal performance both on the field and off.
Feedback from the Principal of The Sports School
Encouraging the students on pursuing a curriculum designed with convergence of sports and academics, the principal of The Sports School, A.S. Venkatesan said, “A curriculum that integrates both sports and academics is not something that the country has seen before. It allows the student to grow holistically and opens new doors for them to explore as a professional in the sports industry. We at The Sports School ensure the integration of Sports & Academics is fluid since it is an essential part of the present day education.”
Authored by Dr. Sankar UV, Director of The Sports School
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