The growing popularity of computer, video games and television makes the children very inactive in their lifestyles. The time spent in these things may be spent in some physical activities. Parents should be a role model for their children. If the parents are looking very active, the children are more likely to be more active and will stay active for the rest of their life.
Participation in sports and other physical activities can have many benefits for children. Participation in organised sports offers the chance for youth to enhance their physical and social skills. A balance should be maintained that matches the child’s maturity, skills, and their interests with their sports participation. Sports offer children a change from the monotony of their daily life. It is also a useful means of entertainment and physical activity for them.
The importance of sports in the life of a young student is invaluable and goes much further than the basic answer that “it keeps kids off the streets.” It does in fact keep kids off the streets, but it also instils lessons that are essential in the life of a student athlete. Sports play a pivotal role in the makeup of a young athlete, especially in the middle school to high school years where student athletes are much more mature and mentally developed. Where else can a young, impressionable youth learn values like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, sacrifice, and accountability?
The first thing they need is a good core of coaches that understand the great responsibility that is placed upon their shoulders to help shape and prepare these student athletes not only in sports, but in their everyday lives. Yes, I did say coaches, because it is a responsibility that lies on the shoulders of more than one person and it is going to take more than one person to help lead these student athletes to success.
The second component also involves the coaches: It is the ability to capture the admiration and the trust of the athletes. This is crucial because if you can capture a person’s admiration and trust you can motivate them to perform at a higher level not only in sports, but also in their own lives. If you can get the athletes to believe in you and your philosophies you can begin to see significant changes in grades and behaviour. It all starts with coaches that have a plan and methodology behind the principles they are teaching. There is a great responsibility on the coaches to help young student athletes make a smooth transition into society.
The third and I believe the most crucial of all is the support that comes from the community, and administration. This is very important because student athletes need to know they are appreciated and there is no greater way than for the community, booster club, and commissioners/treasurers to show that appreciation than to get involved in youth athletics. In order to accomplish this, it’s going to take investment and the most valuable investments are money and time. The more invested, the better the results. I can attest that there is no greater investment than the future of our young student athletes.
The fourth reason is that sports and games are the ways of enhancing the children’s mental and physical growth. Sports help them in character building and provides them energy and strength. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle will bring good results in the children’s lifestyle, minds and bodies. The recreational activities eliminate the unhealthy habits of the children that may lead them to diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain, strokes and other serious diseases. When students are physically fit, they will achieve more academically.
Sport develops a sense of friendliness among the children and develop their team spirit. It helps children to develop mental and physical toughness. Sport shapes their body and make it strong and active. Children should actively participate in sports to avoid being tired and lethargy. This is because sports improve their blood circulation and their physical well-being.
Last but not least, sport also eliminates mental exhaustion of children. Education is incomplete without sports. These days sports are an integral part of the education. In schools, children are taught some sort of games in very early stages to keep their value in life. College sports are also a part of academic curricula. Research has shown that in a public school classroom, half of the students are overweight. There is a lot of improvement in poor food quality, culture of over-eating, and inactive lifestyles. Hence sports education is very much essential for today’s youthful generation. Running, walking and talking throughout the day make the children physically active. Sports infrastructure in villages are being developed everywhere to have great value in life of people.
The writer is a lecturer at Kigali Institute of management