Published: 01st May 2019
The River Bourne Centre takes training to the next level by keeping student interest at the forefront
The River Bourne Centre is a leisure centre where training and education have an equal place
The art of training has a special place in River Bourne Centre (RBC). As summer camps are in full swing with children of all ages swerving by on their roller skates and they practise the odd slam dunks in the basketball court, we catch up with Programme Manager Vishal AS about the programmes that are offered in the community centre right now.
"If we are talking about our education programmes, let's start with our libraries," begins Vishal. "Our programmes for children start from age 1. We have a toddlers' learning programme for children between the ages of 1-2 every Saturday from 9-10 or 10:30. This programme was introduced a month ago. It involves us teaching them numbers, colours, nursery rhymes and action songs. When we come across children who are shy we encourage them to speak to other children and push them to come out of their shell."
Bourne ulimatum: The programmes feature a range of sports and art programmes
At RBC, the priority is to impart knowledge about a series of activities and sports. The centre provides various coaching activities such as Badminton for kids. This summer, students are offered classes on subjects like personality development and public speaking.
In addition to this, they offer badminton coaching and dance classes on a regular basis, both of which are divided into different categories. The organisation is divided into students of different ages who are spread into different groups. Interested students can choose the duration according to the programme that they choose. RBC also offers a range of artistic programmes starting with Hollywood and Western dance classes. "We put different songs and encourage them to create their own choreographies," says Caroline George, an intern at the community centre. She adds, "This is not intended for them to perform somewhere, it just encourages them to understand and learn the art. When it comes to Western dance, we have hip-hop and various other types of dances where they are given the basics. This is not for a particular age group, anyone can join them."
Dance programmes do not end here esteemed dancer Paris Lakshmi ballet classes for young students. They also organise Zumba classes for women of any age group for three days a week. On a regular basis, RBC conducts workshops each Saturday. These include craft, art and various other workshops. Caroline explains, "It's not about what kind of workshop we organise, we focus on bringing in people who are experts and feel like they can impart some knowledge on a particular subject."
Caroline who was in charge of managing the students when they first started out says, "We worked with them in such a way that their comforts and interests were first. We didn't want to be another boring classroom where they couldn't wait to get out of. Everyone's different, we don't want to mould them all into a single thing. We focus on recognising who they are and then help them develop that. We take care of everyone individually and make sure they dont feel left out."
Are they happy? Caroline thinks for a minute before saying, "Initially, parents were worried about whether kids would be comfortable, especially since we work with such young children. To be honest, we ourselves were slightly sceptical about how things would pan out with some age groups. But after we conducted our class, we all understood that children just need the space to think and learn, nothing else matters.