Krish Iyengar joined Sportz Village 4 years ago and currently heads the Sportz Village Schools’ business (formerly known as EduSports) along with the marketing efforts for Sportz Village group. Over the last 4 years, Krish’s focus has been to enhance the overall experience that Sportz Village provides to the children with the help of the age-appropriate curriculum, processes, and assessments. Prior to joining Sportz Village, Krish worked with several multi-national companies such as Intel, Siemens, Arvind Mills and Standard Chartered Bank. Krish has also been a part of a few startups in India and Australia, across technology and retail verticals. Krish enjoys playing football, tennis and badminton. He likes to go on treks with a regular group and is passionate about traveling.
At the time of writing, it has been close to two years since the start of the pandemic. These two years has drastically impacted the lives of every person across the globe. With the closure of public spaces, we have had to adapt to live our lives in the ‘new normal’. It is not only adults who have had to adapt, but children too. The school shutdowns have impacted children’s wellbeing in multiple ways. The lack of in-person classes has an impact on academics. The lack of social interaction with their peers leads to mental health issues. The lack of physical activity impacts their physical health. There is still uncertainty when things will go back to a pre- pandemic situation and with the ongoing third wave, it seems more than likely that these challenges will be present for the near future.
What the pandemic has brought to light is the importance of physical activity, as a great way to address the connected issues of mental and physical health of children. Multiple studies have shown that physical activity not only improves the physical health of children but also their mental health. But how do schools ensure that children have access to physical education classes when schools are not open on a consistent basis.
Online Physical Education
Many schools have resorted to conducting online classes for academic subjects during the pandemic. So why not physical education classes? Many organizations have successfully implemented online physical education initiatives. These initiatives are a mix of trainer led sessions conducted through video conferencing tools and web platforms and apps, which assign physical activities to be done at home.
The apps and web-platforms aim to get children to be physically active on their own initiative. They aim to do this by ‘gamifying’ the process and providing appropriate incentives. Ranking boards showing their position among their peers and periodic recognition are the measures taken to get children to be active of their own accord. The sessions that the trainer conducts online are also tweaked so that they can be conducted in a confined space. Activities are selected which use minimal to no equipment. With these remote modes of engagement, we can also increase the number of hours that children are active, even when compared to pre-pandemic times.
An added benefit of these sessions is that they also act like a break for children in between academic classes. Studies have shown that children tend to be more receptive to lessons and information in the immediate aftermath of a physical activity session. So not only will these sessions help children improve their mental and physical health but their academic performance as well!
With uncertainty around when schools can go back to being consistently open, they should consider online physical classes as an option to continue to keep their children healthy.