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Fit for the job

education Updated: Jun 19, 2012 17:15 IST

The lowdown
Sports instructors, now called physical education teachers (PETs), play an important role in schools. They have to ensure that each child in their care remains fit and reaches required levels of fitness. They are different from sports teachers in their qualifications, duties and responsibilities. They are concerned about maintaining discipline in school, taking students for tournaments and supervising general fitness programmes where students play the games they like. Sports teachers, on the other hand, are qualified teachers who have basic background in one or two specialised sports which they played during their studentship. A coach, on the other hand, is hired for skilled training in a particular sport

The typical day of a sports instructor at a boarding school
6am: Supervise hostellers taking half-an-hour of physical exercise every morning (except Sundays)
7.30am: Collect students for assembly. School assembly takes place and/or PT drill
Routine time table begins
9am onwards: Supervise the running games and sports periods
2 pm: School gets over
5 pm: Supervise hostellers playing games

The payoff
A PET gets a TGT grade (BPEd or diploma in sports after graduation). In addition, at a boarding school s/he could be entitled to education for their kids, free housing, gas etc

* Be aware of training for/rules of various sporting disciplines
* Good sporting and training skills
* Patience to deal with slow learners; good motivator
* Good with children and against capital punishment

Getting there
Preferably, take up science with a special focus on biology at the school level. Follow up with graduation in any discipline and then go for a BPEd or diploma in physical education (for the TGT) grade. For the PGT grade, an MPEd degree is a must

Institutes and URLs
* Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram,
* Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior
* Panjab University, Chandigarh
* Punjabi University Patiala

Pros and cons
* You are the principal’s “right hand” who ensures discipline
* Great satisfaction in seeing children become fit and confident
* You keep fit and help others do so too
* Can be a stressful job

People have become more aware of options that open up with sports. There’s more awareness about the potential of sports education, Meena Joshi, head, Dept of Physical Education, Modern School Barakhamba Road, New Delhi