The fight for space in a city like Mumbai has been the talking point in schools for years. But lately, many schools have overcome this hurdle by keeping aside whatever space they can for sports activities — this includes parking areas and auditoriums to conduct indoor games or tie-ups with neighbouring schools that have playgrounds.
“Since our school was set up more than a century ago, we are lucky to have a huge playground for our students. Keeping in mind that not everybody has this advantage, our management has always been open to sharing our resources with neighbouring schools so that all children avail the benefits,” said Fr Francis Swamy, principal of St Mary’s (ICSE) School, Mazgaon. He said apart from the playground, the school has also shared their auditorium with neighbouring schools to conduct events.
Many schools have also started utilising free space on campus to conduct indoor games. At Kandivali Education Society’s SVP School, the building terrace is used for activities like table tennis, carrom, chess and Physical Training (PT) classes. “We even use the stilt area for sports activities. While it can be difficult sometimes to find space, schools cannot sit on the problem and not do anything about it. We have to work around the problem and do our best,” said Sangeeta Srivastava, principal of the school.
If space crunch is one problem, finding qualified instructors for sports activities, including fencing, indoor rifle shooting, taekwondo, etc is another task faced by students. Parents have often complained about not finding sports instructors closer home and taking this into consideration, the management of the Indian Education Society in Dadar chose to bring the best of instructors to their school for their students’ benefits. “We didn’t want our students to travel long distance when we can provide them the best in our campus. Be it cricket, fencing, karate and taekwondo or even fencing, our students get the best in school itself,” said Satish Lotlikar, managing trustee, IES group of schools in Dadar (E).