Gone are the days when the sole purpose of students attending school was to study all day and rank at the top of their class. Today when we picture a school student, we see much more than an image of a child carrying a heavy school bag, more prominent than the child itself at times.
Today’s school environments are more conducive to activities beyond academics. The leading new international schools in Singapore are giving equal importance to co-curricular and extra-curricular activities like sports as they understand that the environment is not confined to academics. Activities beyond reading, writing, and studying are essential for the holistic development of young learners.
Despite some of the best International Baccalaureate Programme in Singapore advocating the importance of sports, some parents are still not convinced that sports are a worthy investment for children and deny the role of sports in the child’s overall growth.
For years, sports have been regarded as a way to remain fit and healthy, but the importance of sports transcends that. Today, sports are indispensable to a student’s holistic growth and development as playing sports imparts life skills such as leadership, patience, teamwork, accountability, and self-confidence, which are vital skills to manage life challenges.
Here are the benefits of sports broken down for those who still struggle with their importance in a student’s life.
Health and Physiological Benefits
Healthy and Fit Body– Sports are essential because it helps children to prevent obesity by keeping them active and helping them develop healthy eating habits. Children who play a sport naturally tend to go slow on junk food and fast foods and instead consume more proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Additionally, playing makes the body sweat and burn calories helping the body become strong and healthy.
Overall Fitness – Playing sports and participating in games and outdoor activities can help learners prevent chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stress and anxiety. It helps them improve bone density, develop a healthy heart and improve lung functionality. It also helps to lower cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels while releasing endorphins or happy hormones, improves muscle strength, boosts energy levels and reduces the risk of obesity.
Prevents Diseases and improves sleep quality: Indulging in sports activities has been found to offer numerous cardiovascular benefits, such as a healthier heart, decreased blood pressure and a positive impact on sleep quality.
Reduced Stress: Learners these days are surrounded by stress as the world has become competitive, and studies have become intense. Pupils who play a sport are more likely to alleviate their stress and experience increased happiness than students who do no physical activities. Activities such as yoga, running, aerobics or cycling reduce the risk of mental disorders like depression and bring down stress.
Hormonal Benefits: Endorphins are the brain’s natural “feel good” chemicals, hormones that the body releases when exercising. When students exercise, their body releases serotonin and dopamine, making them feel good.
Social Benefits and Personality Development
Improved Social Relationships: Students who enthusiastically engage in sports are inclined to develop a strong bond with other teammates. When you are part of a team, you need to achieve the goals together; that improves communication, induces camaraderie and builds character. These social relationships and character-building help them improve their social interaction and self-esteem and acquire a positive outlook on life.
Develops Life Skills: Sports activities inculcate life skills such as discipline, ethics, and values in learners and help them develop mutual trust. They also gain disciplinary and time management skills. A student participating in a sport must abide by specific rules, regulations and timelines. This teaches them respect for time, accountability, patience, and resilience. These are critical skills necessary beyond school, at one’s workplace, and in life.
Gain Better Values – Skills like teamwork, patience, discipline, leadership, resilience, and learning from failure are automatically acquired by students who indulge in any sport. They learn tolerance and respect for others, vital skills needed in today’s borderless world.
Educational Importance of Sports
Pupils actively engaged in sports has a higher probability of pursuing it as a career option. Especially if the student is inclined towards a particular sport and enjoys it, they automatically gain skills and techniques to master it and play at national and international levels. Not only can they make a brilliant career as a sports person, sports trainer, sports coach, or sports enthusiast, but playing also makes their brain sharper.
Today parents, children, and national and international schools in Singapore are advocating the importance of sports to ensure the child’s holistic development. The education system has evolved, and importance is given to a child’s overall and futuristic development, not just acing exams and getting good grades.
To conclude, the importance of sports cannot be undermined. Sports help develop a child’s overall character and personality, making them more independent, confident, efficient, and adaptable while ensuring a healthy mind and body.
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