Published: 01st July 2020
The Sports School gives us an insight into how campus sports will change in a post-COVID world. Take a look
The Sports School is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their students get back on the ground and start playing at the earliest
Despite this being the 21st century, Indian parents still struggle to allow their children to pursue a career in sports. But today, more and more centres are being set-up across the country in the hope of breaking this very stigma. Established in 2018 by co-founders Srinivas TR and Dr Chenraj Roychand, The Sports School in Bengaluru aims to seamlessly blend academics and sports. Students at this school are not only trained vigorously and regularly, but they are also exposed to professionals from the best sporting academies in the country. However, the pandemic has disrupted their plans, right in their second year. With schools closed across the country, the future of sports in schools remains uncertain. But The Sports School is leaving no stone unturned to ensure students' safety and begin sporting activities at the earliest.
Speaking about how sports will be conducted henceforth and the measures taken by the school, Director Dr Sankar UV says, "Our coaches and fitness trainers have been constantly in touch with the students through online classes and are trying to keep them as fit as possible. The campus has already been sanitised and it will be done regularly when the school reopens." The school, which currently has 75 students belonging to different age groups, has also modified its methods of conducting sports. Sankar explains, "For sports like tennis and football, we have asked students to bring their own balls. Regarding football, after dividing them into various playing positions, we will only focus on skills practice to ensure their fitness, they won't play a full-fledged match at the moment," adding, "Sanitisers are placed around the grounds and every student's temperature will be checked before they enter the ground to play."
Dr Sankar UV, Director, The Sports School
A paradigm shift in how sports is played at schools is inevitable. "New norms have to be imposed and we have to ensure that the students remain fit. We have already begun tennis coaching at the school from June 15," says Sankar. But the school is still contemplating how they'll conduct contact sports in the future. "We are awaiting guidelines from the Sports Ministry on how to go about it. Not just contact sports, we haven't even resumed cricket coaching as the players usually use their saliva to add shine to the ball," he explains. The school, which trains its students in cricket, tennis, football, basketball, badminton and swimming, will be resuming one game at a time.
One of the highlights of The Sports School is its partnership with renowned sporting academies launched and overseen by eminent sportspersons. The cricket aspirants are mentored by Robin Uthappa, while those interested in badminton and tennis are mentored and trained by Pullela Gopichand and coaches from Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy respectively. Sankar recalls, "The foundation of the school was laid with the motive of training kids at the grassroots level. The founders have been training and managing sportspersons for the last 20 years. We wanted the best possible facilities and training for our students and that has resulted in these collaborations."
The school has a mix of beginners, intermediate and advanced players. "For those in the advanced stages, we have to provide them with adequate exposure and training," adds Sankar. Full-time coaches from all the renowned sporting academies train the students and when they feel that they are ready to advance to the next level, the school encourages them to pursue it, he explains.