Sports in schools have immense benefits for both children and for educational systems. The benefits can be presented in terms of children’s development in a number of domains: physical, lifestyle, affective, social, and cognitive. Sports have the potential to make distinctive contributions to the development of children’s fundamental movement skills and physical competences, which are necessary precursors of participation in later lifestyle and sporting physical activities. They also, when appropriately presented, can support the development of social skills and social behaviors, self-esteem and pro school attitudes, and, in certain circumstances, academic and cognitive development.
Sports has numerous benefits. physical education helps children to develop respect for the body—their own and others’, contributes toward the integrated development of mind and body, develops an under- standing of the role of aerobic and anaerobic physical activity in health, positively enhances self-confidence and self-esteem, and enhances social and cognitive development and academic achievement.
It provides opportunities to meet and communicate with other people, to take different social roles, to learn particular social skills (such as tolerance and respect for others), and to adjust to team/collective objectives (such as cooperation and cohesion), and that it provides experience of emotions that are not available in the rest of life.
The Samagra Shiksha attempts to provide, an integrated/composite school system from pre- school to higher secondary level. This will facilitate the transition of children across various levels of school education and will aid in promoting children to complete school education. The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from pre-school to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Education.
Under the Samagra Shiksha for the first time provision of annual grant for sports equipment has been made. Every Government school will receive sports grant of Rs. 5000 for Primary Schools, Rs. 10,000 for upper primary schools and up to Rs. 25,000 for secondary and senior secondary schools for meeting expenses on procuring sports equipment for indoor & outdoor games.
Major objectives of sports grant in schools:
- To help students to reach fitness goals and maintain a healthy life through physical activity and sports participation of students in school
- Encouraging and developing students physical abilities and providing sufficient opportunities for students to develop individual abilities
- Encouraging the development of team spirit among students by bringing individuals from a variety of social and economic background together in a shared interest
- Developing good attitudes of pride, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior in students
- Developing and maintaining good relationships between students
- Providing value-based sports programs focused on good character.
- Improvement of psychological health in students
- Providing opportunities for the development of valued capabilities and competencies, and developing social networks and community cohesion
How to improve the sports facilities in schools:
- Department has issued detailed guidelines which includes an indicative list of age appropriate sports equipment for procurement by schools. Sport specific equipment may be chosen by the states/schools, based on availability of infrastructure in the school including availability of playfield etc. Further, States and UTs may encourage schools to include traditional/regional games of the respective State/Region for which low cost equipment may be procured at the local level.
- One responsible person/PET/Teacher incharge in every school should be given the responsibility to take care of the sports equipment and to maintain their stock position.
- The instructions for maintenance and use of the sports equipments issued by Department to be followed for maintaining the sports equipments.
Safety at Play Ground
Safety at playground or sports ground is achieved by establishing a balanced approach to providing good equipment, good practice and good management. Maintaining records of incidents and circumstances which have potential to cause accidents, remedial actions to be taken and monitoring the implementation of safety guidelines will ensure safe conditions for the children to play.
- Playground – Safe Condition: Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment offer children fresh air and proper exercise. So it is important to make sure that faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and care less behavior do not ruin their interest in going out and playing with other children. You can keep the playground entertaining and safe by checking equipment for potential hazards and following some simple safety rules and guidelines.
- Adult Supervision: Adult supervision can help prevent injuries by making sure children properly use playground equipment and do not engage in unsafe behaviour around it. If an injury does occur, an adult can assist the child and administer any needed first aid right away. Do not leave children unattended at any point of time.
- Playground Safety: The most important factors in evaluating the safety of any playground are proper surface, design and spacing, and equipment inspection and maintenance. A proper play ground surface is one of the most important factors in reducing injuries and the severity of injuries that may occur when children fall from equipment.
Maintenance and Inspection of Sports equipment
Whether you play indoor or outdoor, it is important to take a general look at the equipment to make sure that it is clean and well maintained. Some of the points that you need to keep in mind are as follows:
- There should be no broken equipment and props.
- Wooden equipment should not be cracked or splintered.
- Metal equipment should not be rusted.
- Children should be aware of the unsafe and dangerous areas/ locations, if any.
- Surface materials on the playground should be maintained regularly so that the surfacing is loosely packed and covers all appropriate areas — especially the fall zones surrounding playground equipment.
- Playground equipment should be made of durable materials that would not fall apart or worn down too much by the weather.
- Make sure that there is enough clearance in front of equipment like slides, swings, etc. and children do not linger around when equipment is in use.
- Check for objects (like hardware, S-shaped hooks, bolts, nails and sharp or unfinished edges) that stick out on equipment and could cut a child or cause clothing to become entangled.
- All hardware or equipment should be secure, with no loose or broken parts. Plastic and wood should show no signs of weakening, and there should not be any splintered or rusted surfaces.
- If the local playground has a sand box, check for hazardous debris such as sharp sticks or broken glass, and be sure that the sand is free of bugs. Sandboxes should be covered overnight to prevent contamination from animals, such as cats and dogs.
- Help keep your playground clean and safe by picking up trash, using the equipment properly. Report to higher authorities for any problem immediately related to safety.
- If a part seems broken, loose, or in need of maintenance, designate it as off-limits immediately; report the problem to the appropriate authorities and follow up.
- District and Block Education Officers (& their inspectors), Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators should visit every school to see the availability of sports equipments and their utilisation.
- Inspection and third party verification to be conducted regularly to see whether sports equipments are being used in schools.