“Schools Adopt Sports from a Compliance Perspective”

Sudhanshu Fadnis, Founder Director & CEO, Sportseed, speaks on the subject of acceptance of sports education in India

Objective of Sportseed in India

The National Sports bill has been tabled by Shri Ajay Maken, Honourable Minister of Sports.  The bill is focussed on broad basing sports in education system of India. The broad basing is in terms of reaching out to Panchayat, villages, etc. with sports other than the most popular sports like football and cricket.

Second thing, which the bill is looking at, is excellence in sports where India is likely to do well in the next 8-10 years.   We at Sportseed are focussed on offering the kind of sports curriculum that is in line with the objectives of the National Sports Bill. We differentiate sports education and physical education in our own way. Sports education is a subset of physical education.  Our focus is on sports education. We try to focus on various developments in kids through the medium of sports.

In the lower classes where the development objective is typically body balance, the child is required to do balance beam. But in our case, we are doing that doing with sports association.

Due to limited access to land in cities and towns, we thought of creating mobile centre of excellence to achieve our next objective of attaining excellence. There are two types of constraints that children face. Firstly, they are unable to reach the sporting facilities as the cities are getting bigger. Secondly, the space is not large enough to accommodate all the kids. That is why we are taking the whole thing into the schools and introducing the various Olympics and Asian games level sports in the schools. Our focus is on non-mainstream sports like Archery, Horse shoe, etc.

We want to create excellence in these sports from the school level to identify and groom the talent.

Acceptance for outsourcing of curriculum by schools

The maturity is yet to come. The existing players existing facing challenges that have to do with traditional mindset of schools. Typically schools have very few PE staff. Schools look at sports as an empty activity. In fact, more importance gets provided to things like art or music. PE is not accepted as a subject like maths and science, which every child in the class has to study compulsorily.  If schools were to be of the view that sports has to be made compulsory then much better training can be provided to the children.

Expansion plans
Currently, we are working with close to 50 schools. We are largely based out of Delhi-NCR. But we are eager to start extending our footprints. By end of 2014, we will be present in four states in the country. We will move to Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west. In south we will target Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

“Modern Parents Prefer Schools with Good Sporting Facilities”

Jay Shah, Director, The Sports Gurukul talks about the necessity of having quality sports education in schools

How do you see the acceptance of sports education in a curriculum by schools, students, parents, and teachers?

Sports education is gaining good amount of support from institutions. A new breed of international schools have started focusing actively on sports. In fact, these new age schools have started using their excellent sporting infrastructure to garner new support from parents.

Modern parents prefer to enrol their children in schools with good sporting facilities.

How important are the private partnerships for school in providing better sports facilities?

This is the critical aspect. Schools will have to look at raising revenues and investing in better sports facilities. Sports infrastructure entails heavy capital investments, at times the schools are not capable of developing that kind of investments by themselves. Also the technology involved is also very advanced. The bottom line is that it is much better for schools to outsource their sporting requirements to private players.

Please highlight your contribution for the development of sports in schools?

We have done lot of work in the field of sports. We have worked with more than 8 schools – Ajmera Global School, Holy Family School, Billabong High International School, Thane, Billabong High International School, Juhu.

Some of our achievements include the setting up India’s first full size tennis court on a terrace, also provided sports training opportunity to over 15000 kids in the last 10 years. //

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