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The impact of sports on the physical, emotional and social development of children in rural India

Copyrights: Anantapur Sports Academy

The impact of sports on the physical, emotional and social development of children in rural India

The Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) shares research on sport's effect on children's development.

Sport has been recognised by the United Nations (UNESCO, International Charter of Physical Education and Sport, 1978)1 as an important development tool to aid in the social and emotional development of youth, especially those from underprivileged and marginalised communities. The UN has recognised the importance of designing specific sports-based curriculums, which are aimed at the holistic development of youth.

A review of worldwide studies (Eime et al, 2013)2 on the effect of sport and physical activities on social and emotional development of children also found that there are numerous benefits, including increased self-esteem and confidence as well as social interaction. It also states that physical activity could have a positive effect on the mental well-being of children.

The Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), an initiative by Rayalaseema Development Trust, is considered to be one of the largest sports for development programmes in India. The programme has been running since the year 2000 and currently reaches out to 11,136 rural children across the district of Anantapur. Since May 2018, Pro Sport Development has been working in collaboration with ASA to implement a survey that aims to analyse and study the impact of an organised sports programme on the holistic development of rural children.

Focusing on the physical, social and emotional development of children from ages 10-15 years, a questionnaire along with physical tests were designed to ascertain the impact, if any, that participating in sports has on the children. 468 children from six different sporting disciplines in the ASA programme took part in the survey. Additionally, 80 children, from the same backgrounds and regions, but not part of ASA’s programmes, also participated in the study to form a control group.

The research project makes use of the T-test and Chi squared tests to identify whether sports has a significant and positive impact on the physical, social and emotional development of children. This study, being the first of its kind in the region, has currently captured baseline data, and hence is exploratory in nature. Future iterations of the research in the form of midline and endline surveys in the coming months and years will help further ascertain the true impact of sports on the development of these children.

However, the study has already shown significant results from the baseline data collected, which can be found in the brief version of the full report as given in the link below:


Please note that this is a brief version of the study report and any individual or organisation interested in the full report can get in touch us privately via the contact details provided in the brief report.


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Monday, April 8, 2019 - 15:22


PDF icon ASA Impact Report 2018-19 1.97 MB

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