Being A Well-Rounded Kid Pays Off

I love it when scientific research confirms what I and many other educators have long believed, justifying a holistic approach to child development and a schooling that gives children exposure to a diverse curriculum that places emphasis on physical pursuits and the arts alongside more academic subjects.

For many years my favourite phrase on the subject has been – it’s all curricular!

So, firstly, here’s an article from the :LA Times, reporting on the latest research that highlights the educational, learning and mental benefits of regular physical exercise and involvement in sports:

LA Times – To Do Better In School Children Should Exercise Their Bodies As Well As Their Brains

So, strong evidence to support ideas of a healthy body in a healthy mind. What I’ve been concerned about in the past (and remain so) is that too m uch of our approach to physical activity in school is still working like a filter, meaning that many children are opting out by the Secondary years. It needs to be for every student, all the time, as part of gaining the habits of a positive healthy lifestyle.

Secondly, here’s scientific evidence for the mental benefits of engaging in music making – faster brain development as a result of music training:

Medical Xpress – Researchers find that children’s brains develop faster with music training

Just as a balanced nutritious diet leads to healthy physical development, so we are learning more and more about the benefits of a balanced mental diet.


Do NOT Let Your Child Play Rugby

I love this piece, so subtle in its use of irony (or is it sarcasm?).

We need to guide the young very wisely!

In the Loose – Article
(Click on link to find out why you should keep your child away from this nasty nasty sport!)

Gulf News Article 5: Active and Passive Leisure

This is the fifth in the series of 7 special articles I’ve been writing for the Education Supplement of Gulf News. The remit was to write pieces which would be of interest and value to young people aged from around 14/ 15 upwards.

This article deals with defining the difference between active and passive leisure and how one can be a powerful force for good while the other can significantly undermine a person’s chances of achieving anything meaningful in their life:

Gulf news article 22-09-2013
(Click on the link to open, read or download as a pdf)

Young Children & Competitive Sports

Here’s a very interesting short article, highlighting academic research from the US that suggests that when children are getting too into a team sport too early it can actually be detrimental: Article

I was particularly interested by the suggestion that a child ideally shouldn’t be focusing on a single sport until age 15. My instinct had always suggested ‘not before age 11’ to me.

The article also contained an interesting point about how much actual exercise some children are really getting when they are part of a team sport, that may actually still leave them unfit.

Much to think about.

Developing a Sporting Culture in India

It’s really too early to say how well the Indian sportspeople are going to achieve at the Asian Games in China, as the event has only been running for two days. However, it’s probably fair to say that there is a sense of coming down from the ‘high’ of Commonwealth Games – realising the extent of the journey that lies ahead if the country wishes to develop a true sporting culture.

Personally, I believe it is vitally important for many reasons, not least the health of the nation’s youth. A sporting culture makes it the norm for the majority of young people to engage in physical exercise on a regular basis as a fundamental leisure pursuit (rather than withdrawing by age 11 or 12 once they realise they won’t ‘make the team’ for the significant sports played in their school. As much as there are plenty of entrepreneurs in India who see enormous potential for the future business of the hospital and healthcare industry (raking it in from all the needless lifestyle diseases) I would much rather see them proved over-optimistic.

Many of our children, like many of us, are probably destined to roles in adulthood that keep them seated at desks for way too many hours a day. If they have not put down a decent foundation of physical wellness and fitness in childhood the degeneration of the body and its systems can only be rapid.

Today was Children’s Day and I can’t think of a better pledge on that day than to commit to do all we can to take our children toward a healthier, fitter and far more physically active future.

There’s a long road ahead and much to do. Some of the issues are highlighted in this fascinating article from Tehelka:

Tehelka article
(Click on the link to open the webpage)

After reading it, I couldn’t help wondering – how many of the CWG sports facilities have been used for training sportspeople since the CWG closing ceremony?

Caring About Sport – With passion

had to share this link to an article on the legal action being pursued by a good friend.

Rahul Mehra article

I can’t help thinking that the more people talk about what Rahul is doing, back him on the net, more media coverage – the more it should speed up the chances of positive results – something that has to be wanted by every sports lover in the country.

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