Make sports mandatory in schools: Ashwin

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Hyderabad: Indian cricket international Ravichandran Ashwin and chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand voiced their concerns over the way of lifestyles changed in the society and added that sports have to be part of life for the betterment of the good.

Speaking on the sidelines after launching of Gaudium Sportopia, a sporting facility in city on Sunday, the off-spinner added that only by making sports a mandatory subject in the school can inculcate the habit in children. “In India, the administrators can do nothing and will do nothing about it. If India wants to become a superpower in sports, it is definitely up to the education system to change the way they look at it. Sport is a way of life. Unless you experience it, you will not know what it is. If you make it available to everyone who is going to school, then automatically you will find whatever the hidden talent they have. Make it available to everyone.”

“Government and the stakeholders should take an approach and say like any English, Mathematics, or any other subject, if sports becomes a compulsory subject that needs to be passed by everyone in every class then you will have people taking up the sport. At least by making a compulsion and then you might unearth a lot of talent in different aspects of sport. Physical activity is a healthy mind and healthy mind is an intellectual property,” he added.

Gopichand said, “Sports in the future has a lot of opportunities as a career. Playing sport in the childhood is very beneficial in the future. We need to have access to all people whoever is going to school. The facilities, infrastructure, they should be made available for all. We as a nation have gone up in alphabetical and numerical literacy but have come down in physical literacy. It is important for us to focus on physical literacy and education does not mean only alphabetical and numerical literacy it also means physical literacy.”

Need of sporting icons

Meanwhile, chess coach and grandmaster RB Ramesh said that the presence of an icon can make a lot of difference. “For a country like us to become a superpower, we need to have an icon. Magnus Carlsen, the current World champion is from Norway. Before him, there was no chess in Norway. After he became world champion, chess is being taught in all schools. It is shown live in television in the country. The presence of an idol makes a big difference.”

S Raman, noted table tennis coach, felt that the country is in right direction in terms of the game of TT is concerned. “We have a junior World No.1 in Manav Thakkar and under-21 World No.2. We have the highest ever world ranked player in India in Sathiyan. We have won medals in Asian Games which is like Olympic medal as the power houses of TT are in Asia. So to encourage sport, education institutions should give weightage for participating in sport. We also have dearth in coaching and needs to upgrade coaching standard. We need to build massive infrastructure at middle and bottom level.”


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