From L to R – Nigel Green, Simrin Bakshi and Nishchint Chawla of Vedanya International School
September 3: Vedanya International School, in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA) organized the India Physical Literacy Conclave on September 2, 2022, at the India Habitat Center, New Delhi. The purpose to host this conclave was to explain the concept of physical literacy via examples of how schools can modify their provision for physical education, physical activity and sports. Nigel Green, who is a co-chair IPLA and a Physical literacy consultant was present through the workshop, sessions and conclave, along with participants from the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Health, Government of India, State Governments, Corporations, Schools, Private sector, NGOs, Sports Authority of India, Sports Academies to name a few. IPLA, UK was a partner in the initiative.
A study reported that nearly six million people die in India annually, due to Non-communicable diseases (NCD). Also, there is the double burden of obesity and malnutrition. Almost 40% Indian population is obese. Malnutrition also impacts on more than 30-35% of children across age groups. Physical activity levels across all age-groups are getting lower. Highlighting the same, Vedanya launched a white paper on the subject of “Physical Literacy: Paradigm Shift towards Active and Healthy India” highlighting the Concept understanding, Potential Implementation Approach and Contextualized Solutions for India.
Nigel Green, a member of advisory board of Vedanya, currently a physical education consultant and co-chair (IPLA), said “Physical literacy benefits not just the body but also the mind. It improves academic performance, cognitive skills, mental health, psychological wellness, social skills and provides a healthy lifestyle. It is thus imperative for children to master fundamental movement skills and develop physical literacy. Talking about the current Physical Literacy scenario in India, only 5 per cent of India’s 1.25 billion population is sports literate, which is merely about 57 lakh people out of 125 crore people who are engaged in sports, directly and indirectly. Other countries like the U.S. and China are way more established with a 20 per cent physical literacy awareness amongst the citizens. It would be beneficial for India if the establishment of a National Physical Literacy Mission (NLPM) gets through successfully. It would result in the formation of a responsibility matrix that includes curriculum design, compliance monitoring, and review, grievance redressal and self-correction mechanisms.”
Having been a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at Liverpool John Moores University from 2009 – 2018, Nigel feels that everyone’s aim should be to maximize their engagement in physical activity. Individuals should work with themselves, with the children, with colleagues on creating a physically active environment that will allow all to be physically active for the future.
Simrin Bakshi, Chair – Vedanya International School and North India chair for education for ICC, said – “Education in fundamental motor skills, mental and physical health helps in motivating a student and building his confidence and physical competence. Through the physical literacy programme introduced at all levels, we are establishing purposeful physical pursuits as an integral part of the education curriculum. Considering the importance of physical literacy in shaping a more physically active nation, Vedanya saw this initiative as an opportunity for Physical Literacy stakeholders in India to highlight the PL concept and promote a passion for individuals to be physically active for life. We brought together physical literacy and physical education experts for the same reason. We wanted to establish examples of how behavior can be changed within the families, schools and communities for the benefit of all the citizens.”
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