Enough of fours, sixes, baskets, penalties and red cards! Today schools are encouraging students to participate in a host of new sports and games. Melissa Fernandes reports
Over the last few months, schools have been adding to the options available to students interested in sports. A large number of CBSE schools have introduced games like rugby, archery and optic golf, all of which are quickly growing in popularity. "The introduction of new games in schools will help broaden the perspective and scope of students and give them several options to choose from," says Narsing Sonawane, physical education teacher at DAV School, Mulund.
By moving beyond traditional games such as cricket, football and basketball, schools have drawn the attention of students to games that nurture skills which otherwise remain unexplored. Myra D'souza, a 16-year-old says, "In school we only had a few options in sports due to which I couldn't pursue golf, a sport in which I had a lot of interest." With the introduction of new sports, students will get a chance to choose a sport of their liking at an early age and master it as they grow. This is good news for the country too, given the shortage of Indian talent in international sports.
DAV School, Panvel has introduced baseball and softball while DAV School, Mulund has started teaching students archery. "Archery is a well recognised sport and is played at the Olympics. After introducing it in our school, we have received an excellent response from students. Many of them have shown interest in it, especially girls who tend to show less interest in physically demanding sports like cricket, football and basketball. Archery has given them good exposure and will help them reach greater heights," says Narsing.
NES International School, Mulund has also introduced optic golf, archery and indoor cricket. Milind Sontakke, a sports coach at NES International School says, "We want our students to be acquainted with a variety of sports and have therefore introduced new ones. We believe in providing a widespread base of knowledge to students so that they can explore and make their future choices accordingly. Students like football as it is a world class game, but it is better to introduce them to other sports too as it provides them with many options."
Althea Coutinho, a national-level football player says, "I have played football for many years and even though football is a popular sport, it has not been given the importance that it requires. Girls lag behind and the game is primarily dominated by boys. I have always looked forward to new games being introduced in schools and it�s great to know that schools have actually started doing this."