Why Bethany is a Super Example of a School in Bangalore That Encourages Sports.
Gone are the days when the word sedentary was associated with an adult. The i pad, X box and smartphone-addicted generation of young children are plagued by unimaginable diseases. Obesity, diabetes, depression, and stress to name a few. Most families today live in apartment blocks which may still allow a child to play or swim in the safe confines of the complex, but what about the vast majority of children who simply cannot step out of their homes to play a carefree game of cricket or football in the fear of coming under a vehicle or being bitten by a stray dog. In such circumstances, it is imperative that the school ensures that their children are engaged in some form of physical activity during and after school hours. The busy parent today faces a major challenge in monitoring the child’s diet and overall physical and emotional wellbeing but this entirely possible in partnership with the right school.
As the child grows older the rigors of academic pressure play havoc with their vulnerable state of mind. Peer pressure, body image and the constant onslaught of the social media doesn’t help either. This is where sports can make a difference….a big one!
Physical exercise is good in every way for the mind, body, and spirit. It is an excellent opportunity for children to release their pent-up energy. It may mean a classroom full of sweaty kids but they’ll be a happy bunch for sure. It has been unequivocally proven that engaging in sports activities will improve a child’s focus on study, improve their sitting tolerance and generally make them happy little people…..simply because of the magical endorphins or the happy hormones that the brain releases due to exercise. Needless to say, a child who has fulfilled his innate urge for play will be ready to focus in class. His mind is no longer sluggish and his attention is sharp…..a settled ready class-a teacher’s delight.
As the famous educationist, Maria Montessori said “Play is the work of the child”
In the western countries, the schools have always emphasized on sports and it has been considered as important as academics. University admissions are determined by a youngsters sports credits. Fortunately, the Indian government has woken up to this fact and is making an effort towards making it an integral part of the curriculum. Children can now choose Physical Education as a subject in the ICSE curriculum. The subject demands a certain fitness level from the children….they require to run a certain distance, do pushups and pull-ups within a time frame. Obtaining good marks in this subject is no child’s play but when children perform well on this subject there is a huge leap in confidence level.
The PE department in Bethany has a strong team of dedicated coaches headed by the Mr. Peter Soundraja. He is legendary for his tireless efforts to ensure that every child at Bethany has an opportunity to be a sportsperson. At Bethany, children are introduced to sports right at the Pre Nursery level and it’s aptly called Games and Movement. The children are made to jump little hurdles, crawl through colorful tunnels and sort colorful balls into buckets. The children improve their flexibility and balance. Their enjoyment is evident as they try and swirl the hula hoop or hop on one foot, try balancing on the balance beam and walk on the agility ladder. Needless to say, they look forward to this period the most.
Children today due to various reasons live a sheltered and cocooned existence taking part in sports teaches them how to get along with their peers and also enables them to accept that it may not be always possible to win……sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.
Bethany High school ensures that the children apart from all the other activities have a minimum of at least 2 periods a week of PE. Apart from this the children who show a natural inclination to sports can opt for the after-school sports practices. Bethany High encourages children from other schools to participate too. Through the year the sports teachers keep a close watch on children during each and every inter-house match. Talent is immediately spotted and after an interaction with the parent, the child’s skills are further honed with rigorous practice. The sports can be either individual or a team event. The selected children then go through a minimum of at least four practice matches before they represent Bethany High at various inter-school tournaments. It’s not surprising than the numerous accolades that the school gathers at these events. The children also compete with sports clubs and registered sports academies (which are a notch higher than clubs). This ensures that the team Bethany is confident and ready before participating in the final match. The Karnataka State Cricket Association tracks talented young cricketers through these inter-school matches and exceptionally talented children then go on to play at the zonal levels.
The immense level of dedication and commitment of the coaches is truly commendable. Organizing the sports day of the different departments over three days and in a smooth and seamless manner is again entirely the onus of the PE department. The coaches are Bethany’s men and women in blue. Rain or shine they are on the sports field and nothing deters them.
Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose….it teaches you about life-Billie Jean King