12th February 2021, Mumbai: ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ stands especially true for the times we are living in. There has been a massive disruption to children’s activity levels after the virus hit the world as it forced children to stay indoors depriving them of the fun physical activities vital for their holistic development. Educational institutions completely transformed their operation system and the traditional school sports day has been one of the casualties of the changes schools have had to introduce to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Bearing this in mind, teachers of Jasudben ML School (JML), a premier ICSE School in Khar — Mumbai organized an unprecedented virtual sports event to counterbalance the absence of their Annual Sports Day. This unique virtual sports day being held as part of National Productivity Day has brought back the students enthusiasm of performing and competing with their classmates like the past years.
Every year, Annual Sports day is a huge event for students – the competition, sportsman spirits, hard work, nervous excitement, enthusiasm and the eventual adrenaline rush – all make for a worthwhile experience that everyone looks forward to. However, this year due to lots of screen time and the restriction on outdoor activities, children lost out on the chance to feel the multitude of emotions that the sports day brings along. So, to make up for this and to teach the students the importance of a balanced lifestyle between academics and extracurricular activities, JML School orchestrated its first ever virtual sports day.
The day commenced with live streaming of the opening ceremony followed by the challenging fun games students played. These included games and exercises that were long forgotten by this generation like balancing the books, flamingo, stacking the coins, inflating balloons, aeroplane stance, spot skipping and hail the king amongst others.
Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya, Principal of Jasudben ML School, and Bloomingdales Pre- Primary said, “It’s been almost a year my students have been continuously studying digitally and playing with mobile, and other technologies with nothing else to do at home. With virtual sports day, we saw a great opportunity for the students as well as teachers to get active and try some new home sports and experiences while enjoying themselves like they used to do every previous year. We wanted to make sure that no child misses out on a school’s activity day experience and from the response we could tell that celebrating the annual sports day virtually became a big part of young people’s mind in this academic year.”
JML school wanted to ensure students still felt that sense of fun they get from school sports days and that sports days do not get cancelled completely this year. Sports help children deal with stress allowing them an outlet to channelize their energy and develop significant skills. These events in school sensitize children about sports and games which play a crucial role in the integrated development and help in making them astute individuals. Teachers of JML School believe that when teaching and learning can take place virtually, then why not the extra curricular activities. These activities build long-lasting friendships and connections between students from different backgrounds, while also instilling in them confidence and transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, organisation, problem solving and time management.