Bengaluru

Students excited to play, but skills have declined after two years of little physical activity

With no regular practice and no specific instructions, although children are eager to play, their strength and stamina have taken a hit, some schools have noted.

With no regular practice and no specific instructions, although children are eager to play, their strength and stamina have taken a hit, some schools have noted. | Photo Credit: For representation only

Students who have come back to school after spending most of their time indoors for the better part of the last two years are excited to get on the ground and play. However, from students who have come to school for the first time to teenagers in high school, many schools are observing a dip in sports skills among students. 

The schools are taking the approach of letting children play the sports they want for quite some time before beginning the task of training them for competitions.

“Children definitely want to play or even merely jump and run around a playground. Our physical training teachers are slowly teaching them the basic skills involved in games. They are starting off with warm-up and other small activities before venturing into games. Due to rain in the first week of school, we could not let children play too much. But now, they are all happy to be on the ground,” said Selvaraj, Principal, ACTS Secondary School. 

With no regular practice and no specific instructions, although children are eager to play, their strength and stamina have taken a hit, schools have noted. Some schools believe that it is necessary to start by restoring their strength and stamina.

“We have focused merely on getting them to strengthen their core so that other movements come easily. This whole month (June), we taught them 21 different asanas in yoga to strengthen the core and other muscle groups. We are going to use this to launch them into other sports, endurance training and fitness,” explained Shashank N.N., Head of Department, Sports, Narayana Group of Institutions. 

When it comes to the disciplinary aspects of physical education, students are yet to catch up with the levels seen before the pandemic. Schools have observed that students look dull or bored during assembly sessions, mass PT drills and body movements.

Mr. Shashank says, “With any activity, you have to engage them. It is just a question of motivating them and providing the right frame rather than saying they are bored.”

While the younger students are all for playing, the older ones, especially adolescent girls, struggled to get on the playground in the first few days, schools noted. With the changes brought about by puberty and some weight gain because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, adolescents were not comfortable running and playing with their classmates. Those who had come to school for the first time displayed signs of separation anxiety when they were left in the play zone. 

“For the first few weeks, the first graders were scared and wanted someone older to be present in the room while they played. They wanted to stay close to their teachers. They are slowly getting used to it,” said Gayatri Vijendra, Principal, Podar International School, Magadi Road. She added that while children continue to be good at individual games, like chess, many have forgotten the rules when it comes to team sports, like cricket and football.

Students of school get brand new Robotics & Artificial Intelligence lab
National English School in Bengaluru has set up a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab in its campus in collaboration with Intel and Sirena Technologies.  | Video Credit: K Murali Kumar


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 3:06:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/students-excited-to-play-but-skills-have-declined-after-two-years-of-lesser-physical-activity-during-covid-19-pandemic-restrictions/article65572139.ece