“The Next Sachin or Dhoni is Out There”

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Martin Gleeson, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Education Development India Ltd, talks about sports education and role of private partnership

Please highlight the current scenario for Sports Education in schools in India?

Sports education is a growing field and with a focus on educational outcomes and not just talent identification, sport education is providing ‘more than just sport’. Parents are increasingly demanding a higher quality sport experience and exposure for their children. Classroom teachers are being trained, certified and provided with a syllabus for teaching to upgrade their skills. Unfortunately, sport in schools has not had the same standards or benchmarks that was attached to it in the past.  The good thing is that now the scenario has started evolving and the emergence of new sport education programmes is helping us in is proving to be more helpful to the students.

How do you see the acceptance of sports education in school curriculum?

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The inclusion of quality based and benchmarked programmes such as Cricket Education Programme provides a solution to the sporting needs of a school.  The provision of trained coaches, a syllabus for training and an additional focus on the soft skill development of the child provide impetus to classroom based subjects. To support an individual’s academic growth, sport is able to develop the key values of integrity, honesty, respect, pursuit of excellence, leadership, team work and performance.

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

Sporting facilities are very important in schools.  The provision of a suitable facility allows a child to mix sporting activities will classroom based education. Obviously the quality of the programme and teaching needs to be of high standards.

How do you enhance the skills of students to produce more Sachin and Dhoni?

We can produce the next Sachin or Dhoni if we can ensure a holistic developmental system, which helps in fostering an all round development of the student.  A systemised programme will help to build the foundations for success. The next Sachin or Dhoni is out there. It’s our role to provide the programme and infrastructure to allow that talent to reach its potential.

Please highlight sports education solutions that you are offering to schools?

Currently, we are offering a specialised cricket programme through Cricket India Academy, our cricket division.  We have secured the rights to Cricket Education Programme in Affiliation with Cricket Australia.  The programme is a six level curriculum based coaching programme with inbuilt assessment and performance monitoring.  Our coaches combine their local knowledge and experiences with specific training and accreditation from Cricket Australia.

The response to the programme has been very good so far. Across five major cities, there are 17 Cricket India Academy centres with over 950 children.  In fact, we are currently offering franchising opportunities for interested partners. Cricket India Academy is our first division and we are currently in discussions with a few other sports about developing similar quality based and benchmarked programmes.//

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