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Hale and hearty at Khel Vikas


Hale and hearty at Khel Vikas

Pro Sport Development’s programmes are fostering a healthy lifestyle among children across all age groups, thereby ensuring that the future generation leads a healthy life.

The school attendance rate of children in Odisha is low compared to the rest of India. One of the main reasons for it is the low levels of health in the region. According to Ed.CIL’s report, attendance rate in primary schools in Odisha is at 67%. Frequent illness like common cold, fever etc. has always stopped children from going to school. That is where sport can play a vital role as the regular engagement of children in physical activity can help them overcome various health problems.

Covering four schools across Odisha, Pro Sport Development (PSD) has implemented after school sport programmes, community outreach programmes and programmes at the elite level to 1500 children. From the time where playing sport was a rarity for these children, PSD’s programmes have made sport a regular activity in their schedule.

The Community Sports Outreach programme is conducted at Lathi Upper Primary and High School, where the students learn the basics of weightlifting along with enhancing their movement capacity. The students are taught the fundamentals of movement, including balance, co-ordination and agility, as well as performing simple strength techniques. These methods are helping the children understand the importance of keeping oneself fit and healthy from a young age.

The after school sport programmes have also influenced the participation of students in sporting activity. PSD’s badminton programme brings together the dual aspects of fun and fitness. In addition to playing badminton, exercises that improve their movement and overall strength are introduced in the form of games. This shows more eagerness from students to regularly engage in sporting activities. Seeing the success of the badminton programme, PSD is looking to replicate the same in the other schools it operates in.

Another aspect of school sports programmes is the thirty minute daily yoga session that is delivered by the school teachers to all children at the four Gram Vikas schools where Khel Vikas operates. The programme helps the children create a stable platform as well as strengthen their mind and body through implementation of various breathing routines, body awareness and the understanding of foundational principles of health.

Moreover, the recently concluded Khel Vikas Run 2014 saw significant participation from the local community, with 500 participants completing the race. One of the reasons for organising the Run was to encourage more people in the local communities, especially the youth to engage in regular physical activity.

The participation of youth in all these activities has reduced their chances of getting ill at regular intervals, such as catching the common cough and cold. In the long-run, issues such as diabetes and heart diseases can be kept under control by playing sports from an early age. Finally, regular participation in sporting activity reduces the risk faced by these children in developing injuries, especially relating to the back and lower body.


Article type



Vivek Ramanarayanan


Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 23:00