Physical education and sports are two distinct things in their concept and approach. Physical education envisages the all-round development of an individual whereas sports is a general way to achieve the same with more of recreation. It aims to bring constructive changes in humans through physical exercises and activities. Hence, it may be developmental, adaptive, corrective etc.
Government bodies, which make rules, need to bring esteem and prestige to the physical education and sports to make these professions attractive for bright individuals and this is the need of the hour for India, which is plagued by diseases. Policy makers should first try to understand the curricular contents of physical education before taking decisions on the issues relating to it. Students should be given opportunity to know what is true physical education and sports, instead of just participation. Sports competitions like Olympics etc. are started with the noble aim of making changes in human beings and not simply as competitions.
There must be see-saw change in the attitude of governments and people, and should move towards mass participation of sports. Sports in Indian university system are viewed as an appendix and not as an essential organ. Most of the universities do not provide reservations in admissions for sports persons. It is also astonishing to know that some universities believe that the entry of sports persons may spoil the academic environment. How whimsical does this argument seems?
If we look at Harvard University, which has world famous scientists to its credit, also regularly sends top sportspersons for the Olympics. There are Olympic medallist teachers in that university. The US sports culture is mainly built on the University sports of that country, whereas the university sports in India are very feeble. We cannot even think of winning Olympic medals regularly especially in some sports like Athletics.
In India, a physical educationists and a sports coaches are unable to say with dignity that they belong to the profession of physical education and sports. Such is the pathetic state and during Olympics, we curse ourselves and try to pre-empt with very effective measures to enhance the status of physical education and sports which would never happen. And the result is very conspicuous; India is at the pinnacle of degenerative diseases compared to any country in this world.
Dr. K. V. Raj Shekhar
Assistant Director, Physical Education,
University of Hyderabad