The impact of sports in rural India - 2.0
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Anantapur Sports Academy in collaboration with Pro Sport Development shares the latest annual research on the Impact of Sports on the physical, social and mental development of children in rural India

In 2018 Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) conducted the first-ever research on the impact of sport in the Andhra Pradesh region of India by gathering data through ASA impact survey in collaboration with Pro Sport Development, and published the study on sportanddev, with the title “Impact of Sports in Rural India”. The study received a great reception and was among the top 10 most read articles on the platform in the year 2019.

Following the first edition, ASA conducted the study for the second consecutive year to assess the impact of the programs on the participating children. “Impact of Sports in Rural India 2.0” is a baseline survey conducted before the implementation of a new curriculum designed on ASA’s Theory of Change and to empirically ascertain its effectiveness. 2.0 explores the impact of sport on various aspects of the life of children by analysing the data collected from 235 (42% girls) children and youth between the ages of 8 to 17, across 12 grassroots and development centres.

Conducted in August of 2019, the research was held in two parts, a questionnaire self-answered by participants with questions in the areas of Happiness and Confidence, Sport and Gender, Sport and Education. Moving a step forward from the 2018 research, 2.0 questionnaire included questions on Health and Hygiene, Digital Literacy, Gender and Education in relation to sport to further the scope of the study and assess the holistic impact of sport. The second part of the research included Physical Tests such as the One Foot Balance Test, the Three Hop Test and the Zig Zag Test to test the fundamental movement skills of the participating children.

A few interesting insights from the 2019 study:

  • 86% of the children indicated that learning a new sport is the most enjoyable aspect of the program.
  • 90% of the children who regularly participate in sport said that they believe in themselves.
  • 88% of children dismissed the predominant gender stereotypes and said that girls can play sport as well as boys.
  • 90% of children say that they like working with others in teams.
  • 97% of children say that they believe they can score well in exams while also playing sports.
  • 98% say that both education and sport are equally important.
  • When compared to the 2018 study, the current results reveal that there is an improvement in all three physical tests.

Though the children dismissed the predominant gender stereotypes, the data indicates that only 52% of the participants talk to the opposite gender and 55% have friends from the opposite gender. This reflects the effect of predominant social rules on children on how individuals of a particular gender should behave. Data shows that 86% of children do know how to use a mobile phone while only 56% know how to use a computer. This is due to the increase in connectivity and affordability of mobile data in India, which lead to a spike in mobile phone users creating access to children to get their hands on mobile phones. However, as children do not have access to computers, many do not know how to use them.  

ASA believes that these learnings present the opportunities to work in the areas which need attention and intervention. The research helps sport for development programs including ASA in understanding the impact of sport and presents an opportunity to explore the possibilities and expand the curriculum to cover various aspects while working as an effective tool for monitoring and evaluation.

You can read the complete report here.

For further information or queries please write to the authors at [email protected], [email protected]


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