Thiruvananthapuram: Thanks to the efforts of an athlete and a trainer, Kerala schools will soon see a programme that aims to promote a scientific sports project named 'Play a Game, Play for Fun'.
S. Ramabhadran, now in his 50s, after finishing his athletic career, began his sporting administrative career with Tata Steel in the late 1970s and worked there till the mid-1990s. After that he decided to do something for schoolchildren.
Speaking to IANS, Ramabhadran said his programme is one where a holistic development of young minds takes place. He uses yoga -based aids and certain sports equipment.
"Look the golden age for skills learning is between 8 to 10 years and there are three layers which include from the kindergarten to Class 1 and then from Class 2 to 4
and then from class 4 to 7. What is taught at the early stages is the most vital and one which will be the basic criteria for character development. These programmes can be taken forward also," said Ramabhadran.
"Stretching, strengthening, cardio vascular exercises, concentration and breathing exercises are the basics and from then on it takes to gymnastics, athletics and then moves on to games like football, basketball and cricket," added Ramabhadran.
Ramabhadran said that it was while he was in Tata Steel that he got an opportunity to be trained in London. It was after that that he decided to draw up the now developed programme and take it forward.
After leaving Tata Steel, he conducted this programme in schools in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and later cut short his stay in the US as his heart was in his home state.
Returning here, he formed the Travancore Royal Youth Sports Foundation (TRYSF) to take forward his dream project and he has trained several people who are now assisting him in running this programme in schools.
But a lot of his energy had to be used up in convincing officials.
After running his project in 14 schools as a pilot programme for the past two years, it was last month that he received a letter from the Kerala sports and youth affairs department here that gave the administrative sanction for the implementation of his programme in the general education department which is the apex body for the daily running of the state-owned schools in the state.
Speaking to IANS, State Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that he is well aware of the programme that has been submitted.
"I certainly feel that there is merit in the programme and it has been going on smoothly in the pilot programme," said Radhakrishnan.
Ramabhadran also had a positive response from the union ministry of sports and youth affairs who are mulling about taking up this programme.