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A passion for cricket teaches valuable lessons

Children play cricket at the Sheffield Grammar School in Pakistan - Tim Smith | Panos Pictures

We have been holding a sports week at our school over the last seven days. There was a lot of excitement among the students who were all very eager to participate and they signed up for the different events. The final day was supposed to be held yesterday, on May Day, but since it is a holiday we have moved it to today. The school has invited parents, other guests and the media. It is going to be a big day and all the children are looking forward to it.

In the run up to today’s final, we have been holding cricket and volleyball matches and various kinds of races. The younger children also participated in short distance running, musical chairs and balloon blowing. My class took part in the cricket tournament and although they lost out in the semi-final, they really enjoyed themselves. In fact, when they lost the match, they went up to congratulate the winning captain and his team and that was really good to see since we had been teaching them the importance of sportsmanship. I am a huge fan of cricket so I really had fun watching all the cricket matches.

The school’s management decided to hold the sports week early in the term because there were a lot of absentees. The school’s attendance had gone down to 50 per cent because the children were taking it easy and just not focusing on the new term after their final exams. After announcing sports week, which is always very popular with the students, the attendance went up to almost 100 per cent. You see everyone wanted to participate and not miss out on all the fun!

This was a good way to get the children back in school and into the classrooms. Sports week is also a very competitive time and it brings out the best in the children. No other charitable educational institution in our area holds these kinds of sports events, and the private schools that do organise them have very high fees, which these children’s parents cannot afford. We have managed to come up with our own funding so that we can do these sports events each year.

Overall, there has been an improvement in school spirit and the children have learnt important lessons about team work. You can see the change in them. My job was to be in charge of discipline during sports week so that kept me very busy and fully engaged in all the sports events. The whole week was very well organised with three teachers assigned as sports staff to manage the children’s timings and events.

Today we will hold a few more events and then distribute prizes to all the winners, from the nursery upwards. The whole week has had such a positive effect on the children that we are now planning to organise another sports tournament in May in which we hope to invite teams from other schools. This should make it more competitive for our students and they can learn even more about teamwork.

As told to

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Maimoona Shahzadi






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