Sports has always been an important part of my life and I only have my coaches, parents and fellow athletes to thank for that. The support among the years has been immense and in this piece I want to highlight the growth and process of sports that brought me to where I am today. As a girl student in my early years of school I was taught to sit up straight and look pretty. Sports was never an option when I moved to India but that never stopped my pent up energy from scattering other children across halls playing catch. My physical education teacher was a woman at the time since I studied at a convent school. She saw my potential and ultimately convinced my parents to allow me to attend a friendly track meet held at a different school. I was very intimidated by the other much more professional yet very young girl athletes from other schools who were warming up in their kits. Instinctually I wanted to back out but my teacher was very reassuring than the usual strict tyrant she portrayed in school. She urged me to go “have fun with it”. The meet turned out very successful for me and that’s when I started getting serious with sports and attended all track meets till state level and joined all the sports I could in school.
Nothing but hardwork and dedication as well as perseverance to my studies made me a perfect all round athlete. From there I went to highschool and completely emasculated the boys since I was much leaner and taller than them at the time. Ultimately my teacher and I encouraged the girls of my batch to play during PE class which meant they would not be cooped up in their usual corner gossiping. Most of them were reluctant but in the end it spread through the school and we made a killer basketball team! Through the course of two years being in basketball and athletics I individually along with my team won the State Championships two years consecutively in high school and I had the same effect on college girls as captain for the other two years. My coaches and teachers will always be my pillar to my success in sports.
Sports and physical education in general can open doorways of opportunity to the underlying talent that individuals might have. It gives you a break from the eight hours a day, for 6 working days of the monotonous week. Sports pushes your capacity to improve and test your abilities. Sports is always expected from a boy even if it’s not in their interests but that’s because of the social stigma surrounding it. Similarly, social stigma suggests that girls do not participate in sports and rather beauty pageants and something less complex and stressful to the exceptionally assumed weak female body. Physical Education class in schools for girls has always been about minimal exercise and not about actual sports. The teachers usually let the boys go out to play and leave the girls to do what they please until the assessment, where the boys get to play a full fledged game and the girls are left to throw a volleyball across the court.
Physical education during school covers the basic health necessity for the students to exercise their body other than their mind which happens at a tentative two times a week unless a math teacher decides to take the lecture or we’re given a theory class that teaches us about rules and regulations about sports. The importance of educating students about their physicality at a young age is important. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the bodily functions and basic health needs as well as the effects certain factors can have on your body including how obesity or lethargy can affect one’s daily functioning, mental processes and work ethic. Sports at a young age can impact a child’s behaviour in terms of discipline to follow certain guidelines and the limit to which something can be tolerated. Negative emotions can be regulated and fabricated into leadership qualities like responsibility, perseverance, cooperation, patience, advanced problem solving skills, etc.
Sports and physical education is prominent to an individual’s life. It inculcates values, morals and other positive ideal behaviour in an individual at a young age. Physical activity in general is necessary in forming a whole competent person with all expected social traits that follow the basic norms of society. Keeping your body in its optimum state as well as that drive and competitive spirit is always a great quality seen in athletes and should be infused into our daily routine to be as positive and hardworking to our specifics like so to be foremost among others. Educators should focus more on the pre-eminence of physical activity, fitness of students and character development as well as focusing on giving achievement for students who have potential to become aspiring athletes in any field. Sports is unconsciously integrated into our daily lives whether it be your fitness idol or being a fan of your favourite football club where you are competitive with everyone with the pseudo belief that you’re part of the team. It could even be when you shout Kobe and shoot that ball of paper into the dustbin at the end of the class. Sports will always be the prime element to a person’s life regarding physicality and mental balance to maintain psychological and physiological factors.
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