There’s no better time than now to inculcate awareness about sports in children, with the London Games around the corner (July 27-August 12). To ensure participation from children, DY Patil International School in Navi Mumbai has structured its curriculum around the Olympics. “We have tried to accommodate the Olympics in whatever way we can in the academic curriculum. For example, in Geography, children have been asked to do a project on how sustainable the Olympics are. The technology students have been asked to create blogs focusing on the Olympics.
Students cannot go to the ground because of the monsoon during physical training class, so we plan to have a quiz or other activities around the Games. With Internet available in all classrooms, they can stream live Olympics action in their spare time,” said Husien Burhani, Academic Director, DY Patil International.
While Don Bosco High School, Matunga, will put up a special notice board where kids can display information regarding the Games, children at St Peter’s High School, Mazgaon can look forward to Olympics-related activity all through the day. “We plan to have activities like quizzes and daily reporting on the Olympics. Despite their first internal exams from August 2-14, they should get enough time to continue with the Olympic-based activities. For boarders we have two television sets made available — one each for the girls and boys hostel where they can watch Olympic action live after school,” said the St Peter’s High School principal Brian Robbins.
But not everybody is pro-sports. A principal of a school in the western suburbs said on condition of anonymity, “The first unit test starts from Monday. We do not have the time to think about the Olympics right now.”
The country’s top-seed U-17 shuttler Harsheel Dani is excited. “I am going to follow all the Olympic action, especially badminton. One day, even I can represent the country at the Games,” says the 16 year-old.
Former Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat, who figured in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, said, “It is nice that schools are conducting activities around the Olympics. Once kids get interested, they can think about pursuing the sport later on,” added the Arjuna-awardee.
But four-time Olympian hockey ace Dhanraj Pillay begs to differ. “Why should schools wait for the Olympics or for that matter any sporting extravaganza? To motivate them to play for the country, a child needs to be encouraged all year round. In Europe, they have a sports curriculum in school, but India lacks that. Here we create a buzz before any tournament and then that dies off,” he said.