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Edusports Blog

Transforming learning - Part 2

Power of Play

(This article is the 2nd in a series on using play to transform learning for children)

I spent part of my childhood in the deserts of Rajasthan. Kite flying is a popular sport in that part of the country - and as kids – the most thrilling part of this sport was to chase kites that were cut loose after duels - catch and bring them back as trophies. While chasing these kites, we would sometimes run for long distances - as the strong desert wind would keep them flying longer. To be able to get to the kite first, the trick was to run fast, with one eye constantly on the kite - and keep discovering the shortest possible route to the line of kite's flight - which typically included overcoming natural hurdles such as sand dunes, ditches, broken walls of abandoned houses, all manners of nullahs and so on. Most of the times, our attempts to lasso the kites were unsuccessful - but the chase was always worth it.

Transforming learning - Part 1

What is play?

Imagine a rock-climber inching her way up a huge, ominous looking rock - completely absorbed in the intense effort to climb, or a runner drawing upon her every ounce of energy to finish the last few laps, or a bunch of kids playing tag in a public park – completely oblivious of the honking traffic or any other external noise.

What is common in all these scenarios? Of course, it is evident that they all are deeply engaged in a game or sport they have chosen out of their own free will- an activity, ostensibly with no material gain, which is worth doing for its own sake.

Early sports specialisation – Is this the right path?

Steffi Graf started practicing on a court at the age of four, played her first tournament at five and turned pro at 13 years of age. Nadia Comaneci was 14 when she created history by scoring a perfect 10 in Gymnastics at the 1972 Olympics. Some of the successes that the Chinese athletes have recently experienced can be attributed to their early sports specialization and rigorous practice. But is early specialization, towards any sport, the right direction for a child?

Celebrating the Spirits of Sports

India has never been a sports intensive nation. Yet, sports has always carved out its own space-be it under the Mughal era, during the struggle for independence, through the license raj, in the liberalization period, to the present day Global India.

HOW SCHOOLS CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE OF SPORTS IN INDIA

Where do children play?

Everyone seems to agree that children should play, and that more children should play as often as possible. However, the problem is not “Why should children play?” The real problem is “Where?”