Parminder Gill – EduSports
It has been always a concern for parents that their wards lack physical activity or sports. EduSports is making a huge change in the scenario with its initiatives to bring a strong structure to sports education in India. It helps on creating “physically educated children” with all modern amenities. Mr. Parminder Gill is the co-founder and head of Business for EduSports and he shares some vital points with regard to sports in India.
EduSports is associated with Delhi Public Schools in India, PSBB in Bangalore and Chennai, Kumaran School Delhi, Birla School in Kolkata and Bombay Cambridge School in Maharashtra.
EduSports was started in 2008 with a clear motive to help the children have the “same attention in physical education as in other subjects.” He as a parent of a girl who got B grade in physical education was really concerned that the report was similar to what he got when he was a student about 25 years back. “It was as if time has stood still.” Now after taking over EduSports he wanted to try his idea to approach schools and to find out why physical education should not be included in the schools. They have been successful in creating the impact and there is a 10 point check to parents from their program as to how the children stand in terms of flexibility endurance and from the reports the teacher or school gives about the physical education. EduSports wanted to make it a core education and not an extracurricular activity which has been the case since a very long time.
Mr Parminder says there are two levels on which they work with the schools.
· They want sports to be “part of education platform the school has which means curriculum led intervention like other subjects.”
· They have “sports curriculum that is designed and created for students from nursery till class 12 which are delivered during the PT classes or games period in the schools.”
· They “get tools like curriculum books and trained resources for sports to run these classes.”
· All the parents would get detailed assessment on the children’s physical fitness and skill levels twice a year.
· With program monitoring system, the principals or the leaders of the schools get knowledge of how many classes were done, what was taught on the ground, and the outcome learning achieved.
EduSports has equipment to suit the programs for each age group. He says “a young child has to play with a ball which is soft as their mortar skills are not developed. For older kids the balls are small and hard and advanced skills are taught there.” Mr Parminder points out this is because “you can’t teach a child how to run and catch if he hasn’t learnt how to stand and catch.”
Detailing the activities of EduSports, Mr Parminder says that “the curriculum is designed with the development characteristics of the child. It has been determined psychologically that right from infant to as a child becomes a teenager, what the activities the child would be doing, at what age they would start walking” and so on. He says parents bringing the child to coaching much early is wrong as the kids will not have the hand and brain coordination and ultimately “if they don’t succeed, they will develop lifelong hatred for the game.” Balancing, locking, and manipulation are the three things any physically active body should have and they are built within as per the research of WHO. EduSports takes these into consideration and sees that the child learns to play formal sports like tennis or basketball like the adults do. The children develop skills and confidence. Mr Parminder says “based on the infrastructure of the school, we introduce these things to happen naturally in the schools.”
EduSports focuses on multiple activity which depends on the type of school. If it is a start-up school, lots of children will be there in the early years. In older established schools the students will be distributed equally in all classes. EduSports understands the resources available in the school and calculate the same on timetable basis. The teachers in the schools are trained for the program. It varies depending on how many come out to play, how many teachers are required for primary and middle classes and so on.
Mr Parminder says that EduSports does not work on sports infrastructure. They recommend the type of infrastructure to suit the students and refer partners to help schools create infrastructure. He says if schools are keen on changing and optimizing the space better, they give their recommendation. The program of EduSports does not need large infrastructure. The space should be even, safe, and ensure that children are not hurt. He says “we use empty class rooms or terrace that has security or court yards to aggregate the play area for children to do activities that do not need large space.”
EduSports works with schools in Nepal, Middle East countries, Saudi, and Qatar. He has seen how the Middle East countries fight with obesity more than India. It could be due to diet, habits or culture. The governments are strongly focusing on physical activity and sports. Their program is not to have children win medals but they should play apart from focusing on arts, dance, or music. They should be citizens with physical activity as part of their lives. Hence the governments want to partner with specialized companies like EduSports so that they benefit by the work the companies do. He feels that working in India is in a way advantageous as India has a huge network of schools.
When asked about interschool tournaments, Mr Parminder says that they have yet another platform called “Disha” which is “meant for those who after having played in schools feel they need to play more and compete at higher levels.” For such students, there are after school programs. Specialized coaching and partners of best brands are available. There are certified coaches who work with children and also EduSports conducts year round tournaments and leagues by which “children get experience competing with other children and match feel experience which are important for the development of sports they are working with.”
About the interest evinced by girls on sports, Mr Parminder says that EduSports “have a couple of programs designed keeping girls in mind.” As per a research about 75% of children do not play sports and their interest changes when they come to middle classes. When they are part of a team of group, “some are playing well and some are not playing and lose interest in whichever sports they are playing.” This scenario is very acute in girls as their physical ability changes when they become teenagers. For such kids in middle school years “who perhaps did not play as much or get chance to play or get coached in primary years, we have used the metaphor of leadership skills and life skills through sports.”
The vital features are:
· “We have more inclusive kids where kids play with other kids at peer level, focusing more for fun and to develop life skills and leadership skills.”
· The goal is not counted unless the weakest player scores.
· The program is meant to make the class more inclusive.
· It is not demeaning to them in any way that they are not playing the sports in the right form.
· Many kids who start playing games find their confidence and skills and want to play more and go for formal coaching also.
One of the key things they want to focus on is girls in sports. Since safety for women and girls is becoming a problem, they should be physically active when they become adults. “This is an important cause that if you can highlight in some way, that might perhaps get better social interest.” It is important that “we touch the right tone because we need to create more interest in the societal level.” Due to various reasons they have not included martial arts as part of the program but they “have a workshop called self-defence which they have run in all our partnership schools and we continue to run every year on a fixed calendar basis for all children especially for girls.” EduSports has done free workshops for their partner schools and also on a paid basis for others who are not their partners.
Marital arts, Mr Parminder says is a challenge as there are variants of the same and it needs certified coaches at all levels and making it a part of the education is difficult. Plans are being worked on to make it part of the school program. He concludes, “in course of time we should align one of the martial arts as part of curriculum also.”
Mr Parminder says that the charges of EduSports “depends on what investment we are making, number of students and so on. On an average Rs. 150-200 per student is a rough price for the program.”
For more information, please visit:
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Contact No.: 18002700917