Sports and holistic development of children

Sports and academics complement each other and are imperative for the holistic development of children

Childhood is the most important period in an individual’s life, as the experiences gathered during this period form the foundation of their adult personality. In a country like India, where the population exceeds one billion, academic success is generally seen as a prerequisite for a future career and material success. Perhaps this is the reason why parents are extremely involved in their child’s education.

It is important for parents to realize that there may be an opportunity to become involved in other aspects of their child’s overall development.

Many parents seem to equate intelligence with school grades. However, according to Howard Gardner, a psychologist at Harvard, intelligence is a set of skills and competencies specific to each person to live and adapt to the world. In his theory of multiple intelligence (published in 1983), Howard Gardner classified intelligence into several areas. An interesting point to note here is that such a type of intelligence is called Body-Kinesthetic Intelligence. This type of intelligence allows an individual to control and interpret the movements of the body. People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence often tend to play multiple sports and are physically active.

There is no doubt that studying is a very important part of a child’s development, but so is sport. A perfect balance between study and sport is essential for the holistic development of children.

Children are the happiest when they play. Through play, children learn skills that are important for success as an adult, such as interpersonal skills, teamwork and leadership.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 60 minutes of reasonably rigorous play time each day is essential for a growing child to be healthy. A physically active and fit child also has the potential to perform well in school. There are several studies describing a positive correlation between school performance and gambling.

For example, research by Budde et al finds that students who are in aerobic fitness are 2.4 times more likely to pass a math test and more than twice as likely to pass reading tests.

By focusing on a child’s sports as well as their school path, parents can support their children’s holistic development and help them build their way into a fulfilling life.

Learning and development in the new normal

The pandemic has brought about a major change in the lives of all individuals, especially the lives of children. To contain the spread of the virus, schools in most countries remain physically closed. According to UNESCO, nearly 31 million learners are affected worldwide. As part of the new normal, children’s routines are severely disrupted with no distinction between school time and recreational time.

Due to its importance, there has been a rapid transition from offline to online courses when it comes to academics, but the transition is slower for physical education and sports.

Due to the pandemic, there is a high likelihood of impaired cognitive development in children. Play or physical activity can not only keep a child happy and healthy, but also help improve cognitive development.

COVID or No COVID children must play for their health and development in general. And parents slowly and steadily align themselves with this thought process. According to a Sportz Village study, 79% of parents said they were reassured to let their child participate in sports events at home.

Digital physical education programs are imperative for keeping children healthy, fit and happy. Thus, a structured, instructor-led digital physical education program is the need of the moment.

Play or sports like academics have always been essential for a child’s holistic development and should be given due credit. Additionally, parents, through physical activity with their children such as yoga or playing ball, can build deeper family bonds in today’s highly digital world.

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