Participation over competition in sport events for young children
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Emphasis should be placed on participation over competition in sports events for young children, as demonstrated by Pro Sport Development in its two-day sports carnival held for 351 young children across two community schools in Bhubaneswar.

Sports carnivals are fun-filled events where children can enjoy a variety of sports games and competitions. These carnivals embrace an inclusive spirit, where people come together for an exciting day of socialization and recreation.

Pro Sport Development (PSD), in collaboration with Global Fund for Children (GFC), organized a two-day sports carnival across two community schools in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The carnival, held over the weekend of 11th-12th February 2023, was attended by 351 children, from marginalized communities in the city. 190 boys and 161 girls who are participants in PSD’s flagship Community Sports Program were in attendance. The children were joined by school teachers and staff. The sports carnival was organized at Sai Saraswati School, Dumduma on 11th February and at Beena Bharti Vidya Mandir, Bharatpur on 12th February. Participating children came from four schools, including the two host schools and Ambedkar Siksha Kendra, Dumduma and St. Joseph High School, Jokalandi.

PSD staff were assisted by a group of 24 volunteers and 3 of the organization’s peer leaders.

Visibly enthusiastic and energetic children trooped in along with their teachers, even before the gates to the carnival had opened. The carnival had innovative and engaging activities for all participating children. Six activity stations were set up on each day, which included netball shooting challenge, kick and goal challenge, bucket challenge, cone challenge, group up challenge, and table tennis bucket challenge.

The activities were designed towards specific learning outcomes linked to certain Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) such as catching, jumping, throwing, hopping, etc., ensuring quality progress and development among participants towards becoming physically literate.

The food and music at the carnival added to the festivities, as children danced joyfully to the tunes being played. The children were also impressed by the creative decorations at the carnival.

One of the participants at the carnival said, “We enjoyed at the carnival and played a lot of games. I really enjoyed the Kick the Cone game. Girls and boys played all the games together. We really had a lot of fun!”

Another participant shared, “I went to the sports carnival along with my teacher and schoolmates. We played different types of games at the carnival. I really enjoyed playing the games based around table tennis, basketball and football. We danced and enjoyed ourselves. Thank you, PSD for providing us with this opportunity.”

PSD’s Training and Monitoring Officer, Akash Thapa, said, “The idea was to give the children a different kind of exposure from a conventional sports competition. The focus of the carnival was for the children to not compete with each other, but instead, have fun together.”


Pro Sport Development (PSD) has been implementing the Community Sports Program (CSP) for children from low-income families in various slum settlements in Bhubaneswar, Odisha since 2015. The CSP is a goal-oriented intervention that utilizes a specially designed and age-appropriate multi-sport curriculum, to use physical activity, play and sports-based approaches to aid in the holistic development of children, including their socio-emotional development, as well as their physical health and well-being. 

Since 2022, GFC has been supporting PSD in extending the CSP to children between the ages of 5-11 years, as part of their PEAK initiative.

The program is delivered on-ground by trained facilitators to a total of 378 participants across four community schools in Bhubaneswar. 

In addition to delivering the program, PSD has provided each of the four schools with a multi-sport equipment bag to utilize within and beyond the program, which includes a variety of age-appropriate sports equipment - tennis balls, cricket bats and stumps, different-sized footballs, agility ladders, hula hoops, cone markers, and mini-size football posts and has provided all program participants with sports kits and masks.


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