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A Sports Day to Remember

What are some of the earliest memories of many adults? One realises that most of us reminisce fondly of the many hours spent playing different games. Most of us also recollect experiencing a feeling of fulfilment and achievement even at the end of a day full of physical play. The importance of play and sport in childhood is by now universally accepted and acknowledged. Areas specialising in children’s growth and development such as psychology as well as the field of physical sciences acknowledge the role of play for children to develop life skills, gross and fine motor skills, socialisation and much more. In addition to free play, organised team sport is also an essential component of children’s development because it helps develop a sense of team spirit, collaboration, a sense of healthy competition and sportsmanship among very young children. With urban areas eating into spaces for children - especially for very young children - to get together and play, the school becomes an important means for facilitating sports for children.

At Tiger Cubs Preischool we particularly take cognisance of how essential play and sports are, right at the beginning of school life. The proof is in the spacious play area that the school boasts of and the unique amphitheatre in the middle of the school. At a time when many urban schools find it difficult to carve out space for playgrounds, Tiger Cubs has ensured more than adequate space for children to indulge in free play as well as partake in organised sports. More than simply the allocation of space, the school’s philosophy is to enable learning through play and so before children begin their day at school, they spend some time playing in the school’s well equipped and planned playground. Every year the children get a chance to showcase their sporting skills during the annual sports event as well.

A look at the spacious Amphitheatre

The Main Events

At Tiger Cubs every sports day is special, however, this year the event held more significance because it was the first after a hiatus of two years in the wake of the pandemic. The events took place on October 9 and more than made up for the lost years in between. Our students made us glow with pride as they performed different feats and participated in the races. The day opened with the junior and senior kg cubs displaying their yoga skills. The parents were enthralled by their own kids’ ability to do the different poses with remarkable flexibility and ease. Weeks and days of practice went into what eventually looked so easily done on stage. The practice sessions in and of themselves were a great source of learning. The students learned how to work in synchrony to put on a great show for the audience. For most of the students it was their first time on stage and so there was anxiety around how they would perform. The students, however, outdid themselves, rising above anxieties and surpassing all expectations. Next came the drill, which was an absolute marvel as the children displayed remarkable discipline, coordination and cooperation with each other while performing what seemed to be an activity for much older children. Next came the races, which gave a chance to the kids to compete with each other. The races were fun and included the wheelbarrow, three-legged race, racing backwards, hoop racing and so on. The finale was a special treat for all present as the students performed feats that they were good at such as hula-hoop, Le zim and freestyle dance.

The Jr. and Sr. kg children were followed by nursery and playgroup children’s activities. Not to be outdone, all the participants from playgroup and nursery marched on stage, displaying the different sports they represented. They followed the opening up with a proper show of their athletic prowess by enacting the particular sport they had been allotted. The audience was delighted by the children’s show of skill in sports like kabaddi, shooting, badminton, judo, boxing, wrestling and even swimming!

The Activities and Events

Masterfully choreographed and organised by the talented teaching staff. Our nursery and playgroup got a flavour of competition in the races that they participated in after this. The races were in creative formats such as threading beads and running to the finish line, running through hoops and crawling under obstacles. The success of the sports day was rendered much more remarkable and laudable because all the children in this category were performing for the first time in their young lives!

Parents’ Activities

In keeping with the spirit of sports day, the parents and older siblings were not to be left behind. They were not mere spectators as the Tiger Cubs team had organised some fun and engaging physical activities for the parents as well! After all, active, fit and involved parents make for great parents.

Parents’ Activities

It was a delight to see them enthusiastically participating and enjoying the activities. There were fun, creative races such as keeping a balloon between legs and racing, buttoning a shirt on a partner as the partner bounced a ball and finally an elimination game, which made the entire group get up and dance or move. The events got everyone in touch with their inner child and evoked much fun and laughter.

Principal's Address

The principal of Tiger Cubs, Ms. Reshma Zamindar gave an inspiring speech at the end of each of the categories’ events. Herself an avid fitness enthusiast, Ms. Zamindar is not simply an armchair principal. She is deeply involved in the children’s day to day progress and had many adorable anecdotes from the practice sessions and much wisdom to share with the audience. She applauded the children for the final day’s performance, especially because so many of them were simply not used to being on the stage in front of so many people. However, they had risen above everyone’s anxieties and had delighted everyone present.

Principal Reshma Zamindar addressing the audience

Ms. Zamindar spoke of how the practice sessions had instilled important values such as cooperation, team spirit, healthy competition and patience in the young athletes. Values that many corporations now struggle to inculcate in their employees and hire special consultants for! She emphasised the importance of sports in developing children’s gross and fine motor skills, which are important in all walks of life. Ms. Zamindar went on to narrate many heart-warming anecdotes from the practice sessions. For instance, students who were not following instructions during the practice sessions, did everything as they were told during the actual performance, some of the children were very happy simply participating and did not bother about winning, while some needed an audience to perform. She narrated an incident in which a child did not move from the starting line until the teacher whistled! All these instances not only lighten the learning environment but also inform the teachers about the strengths and challenges of the students.

The Force behind the Magic - the Talented Staff

In her concluding remarks, principal Zamindar applauded the teachers of Tiger Cubs for their hard work and patience in training the students for the different activities. Given all the constraints of time and the lack of experience of the children, they had put up a stellar performance. She remarked particularly on the balance that they were able to achieve between competition and enjoying the activity by not pushing the children too much and instead gently cheering them on.

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