First term kicked off with a basketful of sport activities for students in secondary schools. Thrilling Coca Cola and Ministry of Education sport tournaments are running concurrently, for both boys and girls. The major games being played are soccer and basketball.
I, sometimes, watch these tournaments and witness the kind of ecstasy that punctuates the competitions. The atmosphere at the playgrounds ranges from free and relaxed to tense and grave.
Moods swing between happy and sad as the games take their toll on the students who are seated and standing in a thousand and one postures.
The games provide great opportunity for students to get out of the fortified school compounds.
Interestingly, a good spirit of ‘school patriotism’ has been cultivated among students. The spirit of competition, allows students to ardently support their school teams and feverishly cheer them as they take on their opponents.
Students and teachers interact during this time, leaving the formal classroom environments. On one occasion I heard students cheer their teachers and even call them by names of the subjects and topics they teach them.
The most interesting reference I heard was one directed to a Political Education teacher, whom students referred to as Mr. HIV, one of the topics covered in Senior Two Political Education.
By bringing teachers and students together in sport, the social wall that barricades students from teachers tumbles down.
The deluge of the sporting activities where teachers and students get involved provides a rich discovery ground for teachers and school administrators to take note of other student dispositions that cannot be unearthed through classroom activities.
The way students relate with each other on the sports field can provide a big statement about their out-of-class capabilities. Hidden talents are, therefore, exhibited.
Sports keep students out of the streets and help to inculcate values such as discipline, responsibility, self confidence, sacrifice, teamwork and accountability.
Eventually, they grow physically, socially, as well as emotionally. Physical exercises with other children allow them to build social skills through peer interaction.
The author is the Director of Studies at Nu Vision High School,