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Fostering teamwork, fair play and inclusion through competition

Copyrights: Pro Sport Development

Fostering teamwork, fair play and inclusion through competition

“Competition is great for everyone. Sports can teach you so much at an early age, including camaraderie and sportsmanship” - Tim Duncan (retired basketball player and philanthropist)

While basic training and sports practice is an incredible tool to aid in the physical, mental and social health of children, it is through friendly competition that some of the greatest lessons of sport – fair play, teamwork and learning to deal with success and failure – really shine through.

With that principle in mind, Pro Sport Development (PSD) organised a Catching Volleyball Challenge event for four local schools from the slums of Bhubaneswar on 19 September, as part of its Community Sports Program (CSP), supported by Tata Trusts. The event was devised as a means of giving the children of the CSP experience of healthy competition, a chance to interact with their peers in other schools, and fostering the spirit of inclusion and gender equality.

Hosted by the Vivekananda Siksha Kendra (VSK) school from Dum Duma slum, 120 children participated in the competition, comprising 12 teams of 10 children each. The teams were equally split between girls and boys so there were 60 girls and 60 boys participating, aged between 10 and 14 years old.

The schools represented were: Beena Bharati Vidya Mandir (BBVM), who sent four teams, Saraswati Shishu Mandira (SSM), who sent three teams, two teams from Shri Satya Sai (SSS) and the host school, VSK, who entered three teams.

Following an uncertain start, the children began to throw themselves into the game, quickly devising new tactics and strategies, while retaining the principles of inclusion and fair play that are integral to the programme. Those teams that best managed to integrate boys and girls together began to thrive. With multiple teams from each school, there was a ready supply of supporters on the sidelines roaring their classmates on as the group stage moved into the knockout stage.

At first this game was difficult for us,” said Sibani Prasad Sahoo, from class 8 at SSM. “But we played well because of good understanding and communicating and because of planning with the PSD coaches in training.”

The narrow margins of the competition meant three teams had to play an extra sudden death round as all three had ended the group stage level on points and with identical scores.

The tournament was eventually won by team ‘Anaconda’ from host school Vivekananda Siksha Kendra, who overcame team ‘Bull’ from Saraswati Shishu Mandira 15-12 in a compelling final, sparking jubilant celebrations from the rest of the school, who had gathered to watch.

Sonalika Priyadarshini, a member of team Anaconda from class 7 at VSK, said: “I’m happy that we were the winners. Our teacher was very proud for the team. We won because of cooperation, communication and team spirit.”

Prakash Chandra Swain, principal of Vivekananda Siksha Kendra school, said: “All the children enjoyed this game and every team challenged for the win. But the team that worked hardest and showed cooperation-- that team was the winner.”


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Friday, September 15, 2017 - 10:24