Most schools have extra mural programs – some more interesting than others – but there are also always pupils who don’t make the most of their youth and the extra murals on offer.
Take me, for example. In primary school particularly, I didn’t see the point of any extra murals. My life was go to school, come home, do homework, study and relax, which worked fine. Until I decided that I needed more of a challenge. I wanted to achieve more than academic success when I left primary school. And high school was just the place to teach me why extra murals are actually valuable.
Sport can aid the brain with concentration and information retention. It doesn’t have to be anything hectic, like rugby, but just a simple activity like running in your garden can do wonders for your concentration.
Participating and succeeding in a sport can improve one’s self image. Ever since I made the U16A team for squash at my school, I have felt better about myself, and determined to try harder at physical activities and do better.
Being on the sports field can teach one a number of valuable life skills and lessons.
- The ability to lose with dignity – you have to learn how to keep smiling, even if things aren’t going the way you expected
- Camaraderie and sportsmanship – some of us still need to learn to win with dignity, which entails being a gracious winner.
- Teamwork – while many of you might cringe at this word, having had some bad experiences like myself, the inevitability of working as a team one day in the workplace is a significant point to consider. Forget going as far as that. Sometimes the skills learned regarding teamwork in sport can be used to manage relationships with groups of people that are special in your life, like your friends and family. It makes you are better person.
- Time management – this is a big one; one of the most critical skills learnt. Right now, it feels like to do the sport you love, watch the TV show you enjoy and do all your homework for the next day seems tough, but one day you will have to deal with bosses and colleagues and spouses and children… Life doesn’t get easier. Filling up your days rather than having too much free time on your hands will result in you being able to manage your time better, and ensure that you achieve all you set out to.
- Critical thinking skills and reflexes – in many sports, you have to think on your feet and react in the blink of an eye. Which kind of sounds like what you need to do in a maths test too. Being under pressure to return the ball, or whatever it is, will definitely sharpen your reflexes and thinking skills. This will be important for you when you leave school.
For those who hate sport… There are benefits to doing sport, just as long as you are doing a sport that you enjoy, and not one that you are pushed into.
For those who love sport and are good at it… Remember that winning isn’t everything, and there are always lessons that you can learn, even at pro-level.
By Relashini Munsamy