Developing intellect by physical training
By Aparna Unni | ENS - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
10th November 2012 09:33 AM
Faasila Noor, Siddharth S and the rest of their kindergarten classmates could hardly contain their excitement as they entered the small hall of their school, the Government Lower Primary School, Manacaud. The slightly dim room had been brightened up by the presence of the various colourful rubber mattresses, which are part of the school’s newly installed gymnastics equipment.
Following a series of stretching and strengthening exercises, they hopped on the spot on one leg several times as part of their ‘cardiovascular exercise.’ After some ‘deep breathing’ to recover, they showed off their gymnastic skills, assisted by their teachers, doing ‘forward roll’, ‘backward roll’ and ‘headstand’ on ‘shaped’ gym mattresses.
These physical sessions have been going on regularly for all classes in the school for the past month. They are conducted by selected trainers and their own teachers, who have been given training based on the Community Sports Leaders Award Certification Course followed at many schools abroad.
This is as part of the pilot project, ‘Play a Game, Play for Fun’, to promote intellectual development in students through physical training, which is being taken up by the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs in association with the Travancore Royal Youth Sports Foundation (TRYSF).
S Nujumudeen, Additional Director at the Directorate, said that this scheme was being run on a trial basis in 14 LP and UP schools in the district with the long-term aims of enhancing fitness and cultivating a sports culture among students.
“Physical training must begin at a young age, better begun in class I rather than class V,” he said.
The project is the brainchild of TRYSF Director S Ramabhadran, who has seen its successful implementation in various schools in Gulf countries such as Bahrain and UAE over the past two decades.
But for him, rather than training, this is more of a physical recreation necessary for students to develop their intellect and also to enhance their co-ordination, flexibility and strength. Ramabhadran’s aim is to set a strong athletic foundation as is done across schools in Europe.
“For the holistic development of a child, their physical health has to be given as much importance as their academics,” said Ramabhadran. “This will also help them develop their intellect, focus better in class and grasp things faster.”
There are three elements to his project - “gymnastics, athletics and game circuit culture.” Starting from basic gymnastic skills, students will slowly progress into higher grades of exercise like dribbling and other such exercises using balls and activities like shuttle run, standing triple jump etc, where they will be given points according to their performance.
This scheme had been implemented in several Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state about two years ago, said Ramabhadran.
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