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Speak Out LoudEffects of COVID-19 on physical education and sports

Effects of COVID-19 on physical education and sports


Effects of COVID-19 on physical education and

Author:Manpreet Kaur ; Edited by: Tufail Farooq

The novel Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID 19) seems to have a major impact on the life of the people globally. The pandemic has forced many people around the to self-isolate and stay at homes leaving the streets, markets, gyms, schools and many other working places empty. It feels like the whole world is at rest and the earth is closed to deal with this pandemic outbreak in all the possible ways . The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has affected everyone in a sudden and dramatic manner with an unprecedented impact on and daily life.

This pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near total closures of the schools, universities, colleges and other educational institutions. As of 27 April 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures and many other learners are affected in other ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. The education system has taken a major shift towards online and digital classes and other modes of learning. But there are still many courses that cannot be helped effectively through this online guidance and teaching programmes. The most effected courses due to this pandemic are surely those which are more practical based such as physical education courses that may include bachelor, masters and other diploma courses. These courses are based on practical as they essentially require physical presence of teachers, students and other staff for instructional purposes which have been made nearly impossible by the threat of virus transmission.

During such conditions when the whole world is following lockdown and social distancing, it is not possible to conduct classes and practical work for such courses. COVID-19 is not only effecting the educational institutions but also many other organizations and clubs which are the pillars for organising and supporting such physical activities throughout the globe. It is not only affecting their financial and economic conditions but also many cases of physical and mental stress have been reported worldwide. Coming back to academic sessions and courses, there are problems being faced by Kashmir students in academics due to lacking high speed internet services, which is a major setback.

In the light of this pandemic, many important competitive exams have also been postponed. Moreover, students who were more involved in physical activities are now almost at total rest , effecting their mental and physical health in many ways such as bad and improper eating habits, disturbed sleep cycles and many other problems have also emerged due to the stagnant lifestyle.

Talking about sports person, they are at increased risk of gaining weight and losing their physical efficiency and technical development of their respective games these days. This increases the chances of many physiological, biological, psychological and behaviourally aggressive responses like getting stressed easily, anxiety etc. Sports can help individuals and society to soften the negative effects of the crisis on their lives through mechanisms that can contribute to people health, socialisation, education and general sense of well-being. In addition to its disastrous short and mid-term effects and health impacts ( including inactivity, mental health risks linked to loneliness and anxiety), the pandemic will also have extraordinary long term consequences on people's daily lives, health including sectors of the economy especially service sectors eg- tourism, sports, food and accommodation.

Mobility restrictions and lockdown have struck the sports sector to the core. The professional sports including the entire sports industry and its stakeholders are bearing the brunt. Freelancers are the self-employed persons eg trainers are no longer able to provide services have fallen under the radar of unemployment.

The closure of schools, universities, gyms, gymnasiums, stadiums etc has negatively affected students learning outcomes. Schools and such institutes provide essential learning atmosphere and opportunities and when these are closed children then youth is deprived opportunities of growth and development. The disadvantages are disproportionate for under privileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond school with limited education and resources.

Student dropout rate may increase after phased resumption of schools and other institutions. Disadvantaged, at risk or homeless children are more likely not to return to schools after the closures are ended. When schools are closed, many children and youth lose social connectivity which is an integral aspect to learning and development.

Due to the prevailing conditions, many competitive exams have been shelved or cancelled to maintain self isolation and social distancing. Even the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and IPL 2020 have also been postponed. Its due to the effects of pandemic that one cannot perform the desired physical activities, the top form of the players throughout the globe is degrading and coming down. These conditions can only be normalised when this world will be free from COVID-19 pandemic and will have a better environment for the development of our lost potentials. Till then we will have to make alterations to our education system as well as sports activities.

Though UGC has given guidelines for conducting online classes and even to conduct exams by July 2020, we expect more guidelines from UGC keeping in view the specificity and need of courses involving outdoor activities and physical presence.

The author is a student of Physical Education from Poonch.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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