AFI to introduce the concept in 14 states across the country

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Saddled with loads of books on their backs, riddled with brain teasers after class hours and burdened with tonnes of home work, are our children being denied the simple joys of a childhood?

Certainly yes, but the times are changing and in the days to come, schools across the country would have to provide a space for the children to play.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has drawn up plans to introduce a novel concept: Kids Athletics -- a programme to be included in the school curriculum. It is being introduced in 14 States from June, 2013 and later expand it to all the States.

“The most interesting part of the programme is children can learn athletic skills, running, bending, stretching, throwing and jumping etc in a small space, let’s say a big room.

The AFI is providing the required infrastructure and schools can add up to that with their resources,” honourary secretary, AFI C.K Valson told The Hindu on Sunday on the sidelines of National Junior Athletics Championship being held here. The International Athletics Federation introduced the concept to inculcate in children a passion for athletics. The IAF is also helping the AFI through financial grants to go ahead with the project. With Cricket drawing most of the kids, the AFI is also mulling to have coaching camps for talented boys and girls under-15 in the southern region. “We will be having training camps in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram for boys and girls from the south,” said Mr. Valson.

Mr. Valson said that Junior Athletics Championship were also final selection trials for Indian aspirants looking for a berth in the National Team in the World Youth Championships to be held at Dontesk, Ukraine, from July 10 to 14, 2013 as well as the Asian Youth Games to be held at Nanjing, China, in August, 2013.

Athletes selected in the meet would be undergoing a 60-day training camp before the Asian and World meets.

Explaining about the new stringent doping tests being introduced in the AFI, Mr. Valson said that it had become binding on every athlete to comply with the guidelines of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and be available for dope test any time in an year.

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