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Sports: Physical Fitness and Children Essay Sample

Sports: Physical Fitness and Children Pages
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Games are essential and a necessity for children. Physical exercise keeps the body fit and trim, thus ensuring healthy eating habits. If there are no games for children in school, they tend to get weary and bored of school routine, and studies become a drag. The love of sports developed in children will remain with them when they get older, and it is no hidden fact that sports especially in the older ages tones the muscles and lets you age gracefully. Introduction to sports at an early age develops teamwork, and sportsmanship in children. They believe themselves capable and worthy of excellence in this one field. It improves their focus, blood flow and freshens them and makes them fare better in their studies. A research showed that students partaking in sports were having better academic performance than the ones who were not exposed to physical games. Games also seemed to give a boost in character building and preparing the children for student leadership boards. The obesity graph for children and adults has been growing drastically since the past few years, which applies for an increase in school sports. Children do not realize the implications of exercise in older years.

Parents need to develop an interest and understanding of the importance of games. The option of choice should be present at all costs. If the students are forced to take physical education period they may develop a repulsive dislike for games, and may never lurk near it. Outdoor games are recreational and they ensure that children are exposed to fresh air and exercise, which they might not get at home, the television and the computer dragging them away from any forms of physical workout. These games not only give physical education but they instill educational and social values in children. The children develop a coordination of eye and limbs, and they learn to coordinate with the time as well. As for social values the children learn to experience both victory and defeat, accepting them both as courses of life.

They learn to be more social and outspoken, and to participate in all co-curricular activities. They learn to deal better with their fears, think more independently and become apt at disregarding little bruises and fusses. Hence, outdoor games and sports not only open a door to freedom of mind, but develop healthy children who promote to a healthy country. Sports should be encouraged in all schools and should be supported by all parents, because the children of today are the hopes of tomorrow.

There is no doubt that manly outdoor games, such as football, hockey and cricket, are very good for growing boys. They provide physical exercise, so necessary for health, in an interesting form. Moreover such games, by training boys to work together in a team, teach corporate discipline, and so promote what is called esprit de corps. All this will be agreed to by everyone. But the question is whether the playing of such games should be compulsory. Some argue that it should be voluntary. They say that most boys will join in the school games from choice. As for those who do not like games, why should they be made to play against their wish? Playing games under compulsion will do boys no good, and it may do harm to delicate boys. Besides, games often interfere with serious study. As a rule, the boys who shine on the playing fields do not shine in the class-room. A studious boy would rather give his time to getting on with his work. What can be said on the opposite side, in favour of making games compulsory? For one thing, it is often the delicate boys who most need healthy open-air exercise. Many a lad of poor general health would be all the better for more physical exercise.

Such boys as cannot stand strenuous games could be given gentler exercise, or excused on medical certificate. As to naturally studious pupils, they certainly need all the outdoor exercise they can get. Continuous indoor study will soon undermine the health, and so interfere with further study. As such pupils will not voluntarily take part in games, they must, for their own sake, be compelled to do so Further, no game can be played without strict obedience to its own rules. Boys understand this kind of discipline and uphold it. This voluntary discipline learnt on the playing-fields makes the compulsory discipline of the school appear more reasonable to schoolboys. In this way compulsory school games strengthen school discipline. Finally, games form a part, and a valuable part, of school education. They help in the moral training of boys. They teach certain necessary moral lessons, and in a way boys can understand; for the playing of them promote co-operation, the sense of fair-play, the sporting spirit, obedience to rules, self-control, pluck, and the sacrifice of self for the good of the whole. There is truth in the saying that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton.

Some kids can’t wait to sign up for competitive sports: for others, earning that physical education credit is like torture. While there is little doubt about the importance of keeping kids physically active, there is quite a lot of debate around how this should be accomplished. The British Government recently launched a campaign, in conjunction with their preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, to give every child the chance to participate in five hours of competitive sport every week. Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he wants schools, parents, volunteers, coaches and the sports world to work together in offering the equivalent of an hour of sport to every child every day of the school week. But would a push like this work in the United States, and should it? No on both counts, says Jay Coakley, PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado and author of Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies. First of all, while many other developed nations such as the United Kingdom and China are facing the same health problems—diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure due to inactivity—they have centralized sports authorities working with the government to boost physical fitness.

In the United States, Coakley says, the focus on local control of education is so strong that any government input is treated as lip service. “We emphasize individualism, rather than the collective that smacks of socialism,” Coakley says. “In the process we have an unbelievably fragmented approach to education and sport.” The current set-up for extra-curricular sports activities in this country is failing kids, according to Coakley: parents spend exorbitant amounts to enroll their children in elite, private clubs for gymnastics, ice skating and other activities. “Programs that used to bring people across the community together are now privatized based on social class, race and skills,” he says. One of the biggest problems this creates, according to Coakley, is that it leaves a large number of kids whose parents can’t afford ski club embittered on the sidelines of a corrupt political system. “No one wants to play intramurals because it’s considered second class,” he says. But, even for affluent kids these programs, focused solely on specialized skill development and measurable indicators of progress, may not encourage a healthy relationship with physical fitness, according to Coakley.

In fact, studies indicate that specialization may be harmful to a child’s development. Coakley provides this analogy: “If your child came home from school one day and said, ‘I learned all about apples today in school and from now on, all I’m going to eat are apples.’ You’d probably say, ‘Apples are good, but we also have to add other things to your diet.’ We have to make sure there are other physical activities on our child’s plate.” But, despite these problems, Coakley says more government control is not the answer. “Anything that comes from up top will have an organizational structure that’s constraining,” he says. “We have to give kids the opportunity to be autonomous, and maybe we can sneak in the skills and the fitness parts.” Instead, he says the trend towards healthier physical fitness programs will have to be delivered through grass-roots campaigns, by developing community-based programs that are open to everyone and contain elements of informal games, and other forms of play.

Coakley says a big piece of this puzzle is rethinking the way we look at physical fitness in our children; it’s not just about those competitive team sports, it’s about experiencing a wide range of movement activities—be it skateboarding, tumbling, or even interactive video games like Wii. In fact, this is how Coakley says the future of sport will be: a combination of technology and movement. “I think we’re going to see kids in virtual spaces, putting on head gear that gives them 360 degree view of an environment that they’ll negotiate physically,” he says. “We need to think creatively: What do we want in terms of human movement for our children?” How can you negotiate this new concept of movement into your child’s life? Coakley says parents who have children enrolled in the more rigid programs should let their children retire if they want, and instead focus on having a blast with a range of physical activities.

“Let them engage in spontaneous play and give them opportunities to experiment with the relationship between their bodies,” he says. For kids less than enthusiastic about physical fitness, he says parents should talk about their other interests and “find out how those things overlap with movement, and how to hook kids up.” American children need to be more physically active, and their communities are in a unique position to provide them with programs that in still the values of fitness through positive experience. And, those are the kinds that last a lifetime.

CHILD LABOR IN PAKISTAN

God has given human beings the boon of wisdom and discretion to think upon the signs of the universe and to draw conclusions. That is the reason why they disclose the hidden facts of it and its structure and have made remarkable progress in many walks of life. Children are the flowers of heaven. They are the most beautiful and purest creation of God. They are innocent both inwardly and outwardly. No doubt, they are the beauty of this world. Early in the morning when the children put on different kinds of clothes and begin to go to schools for the sake of knowledge, we feel a specific kind of joy through their innocence. But there are also other children, those who cannot go to schools due to financial problems, they only watch others go to schools and can merely wish to seek knowledge.It is due to many hindrances and difficulties; desperate conditions that they face in life.

Having been forced to kill their aspirations, dreams and other wishes, they are pressed to earn a living for themselves and for their families. It is also a fact that there are many children who play a key role in sustaining the economically life of their family without which, their families would not be able to make ends meet. These are also part of our society who have forgotten the pleasures of their childhood. When a child in addition to getting education, earns his livelihood, this act of earning a livelihood is called as child Labour. The concept of child Labour got much attention during the 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-developed countries because of child Labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child Labour as:

1- When a child is working during early age
2- He overworks or gives over time to Labour
3- He works due to the psychologically, socially, and materialistic pressure
4- He becomes ready to Labour on a very low pay

Another definition states:

“Child Labour” is generally speaking work for children that harms them or exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally or blocking access to education), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF) defines “child” as anyone below the age of 18, and “child Labour” as some type of work performed by children below age 18. (UNICEF) | Child Labour is an important and a serious global issue through which all and sundry countries of the world are directly or indirectly affected, but, it is very common in Latin America, Africa and Asia. According to some, in several Asian countries’ 1/10 manpower consists of child Labour.In India the number of children between the ages of 10-14 has crossed above 44 million, in Pakistan this number is from 8 to 10 million, in Bangladesh 8-12 million, in Brazil 7 million, whereas their number is 12 million in Nigeria.| In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million.During the last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics released the results of its survey funded by ILO’s IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour). The findings were that 3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40 million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active children are in age group of 5 to 9 years. Even out of these 3.8 million economically active children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys.

During the year 2001 and 2002 the government of Pakistan carried out a series of consultation of tripartite partners and stakeholders (Labour Department, trade unions, employers and NGOs) in all the provinces. The objective was to identify the occupations and the categories of work, which may be considered as hazardous under the provisions of ILO Convention 182. As a result of these deliberations, a national consensus list of occupations and categories of work was identified, which is given below:

1. Nature of occupation-category of work
2. Work inside under ground mines over ground quarries, including blasting and assisting in blasting 3. Work with power driven cutting machinery like saws, shears, and guillotines, (Thrashers, fodder cutting machines, also marbles) 4. Work with live electrical wires over 50V.

5. All operation related to leather tanning process e.g. soaking, dehairing, liming chrome tanning, deliming, pickling defleshing, and ink application.
6. Mixing or application or pesticides insecticide/fumigation. 7. Sandblasting and other work involving exposure to free silica. 8. Work with exposure to ALL toxic, explosive and carcinogenic chemicals e.g. asbestos, benzene, ammonia, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, caustic soda, phosphorus, benzidene dyes, isocyanides, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulphide, epoxy, resins, formaldehyde, metal fumes, heavy metals like nickel, mercury chromium, lead, arsenic, beryllium, fiber glass, and 9. Work with exposure to cement dust (cement industry)

10. Work with exposure to coal dust
11. Manufacture and sale of fireworks explosives

12. Work at the sites where Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are filled in cylinders. 13. Work on glass and metal furnaces
14. Work in the clothe printing, dyeing and finishing sections 15. Work inside sewer pipelines, pits, storage tanks
16. Stone crushing
17. Lifting and carrying of heavy weight specially in transport industry (15b kg and above)
18. Work between 10 pm to 8 am ( Hotel Industry)
19. Carpet waving
20. Working 2 meter above the floor
21. All scavenging including hospital waste
22. tobacco process ( including Niswar) and Manufacturing
23. Deep fishing ( commercial fishing/ sea food and fish processing
24. Sheep casing and wool industry
25. Ship breaking
26. Surgical instrument manufacturing specially in vendors workshop
27. Bangles glass, furnaces

Now we can easily imagine in the light of above mentioned facts and figures how the nation’s future namely children are deprived of pleasures of life, ignorance has reduced their abilities of thinking right or differentiating between right and wrong, as well as their life-chances, to their non-access to education. It is true that child Labour is not an isolated phenomenon.| |

It is an outcome of a multitude of socio-economic factors and has its roots in poverty, lack of opportunities, high rate of population growth, unemployment, uneven distribution of wealth and resources, outdated social customs and norms and plethora of other factors. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the daily income of 65.5% people of Pakistan is below 2 U.S. dollars a day. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Report, 47 million people in Pakistan are leading lines below the line of poverty, whereas the Social Policy Development Centre (SDPC) Karachi has stated in one of its reports that the ratio of poverty in Pakistan was 33% during 1999 that increased in 2001 and reached 38%. The ratio of poverty in the current year is around 30%.

Consider the point that if 30% of our country’s total population is leading life below the poverty-line wherein the people are deprived of basic necessities of life like clothing, shelter, food, education and medication, the children of these people will be forced to become Labourers or workers in order to survive. Another reason of child Labour in Pakistan is that our people don’t have the security of social life. There is no aid plan or allowance for children in our country. Class-based education system is another reason for increasing child Labour; villages lack standardized education systems and as a result, child Labour is on increase in rural areas. The government has not put its laws into practice to stop child Labour in our country. Employers after exploiting child Labour, extract a large surplus, whereas child Labour, despite increasing poverty, unemployment and other problems, are pressed to do anything and everything for their livelihood and the survival of their families. | Child Labour is a complex problem which demands a range of solutions.

There is no better way to prevent child Labour than to make education compulsory. The West understood this a long time ago. Laws were enacted very early to secure continued education for working children; and now they have gone a step forward, and required completion of at least the preliminary education of the child before he or she starts work. | Martin Luther as back far 1524 sent a letter to German Municipalities insisting it was their duty to provide schools, and the duty of parents to educate their children. In Sweden, a royal decree in 1723 instructed parents and guardians to diligently see to it that their children applied themselves to book reading. In Europe, one country after another; Scotland, Prussia (1817), Austria (1869), France, United Kingdom (1880) and Italy made education compulsory. In 1872, Japan became the first non-Western country to make elementary school education compulsory with the declaration by the Meiji Govt. The present government in Pakistan has made elementary education compulsory. Along with this, the government has distributed free books in primary schools so that parents, who cannot afford their children’s school expenses, send their children to schools. The major point is that this decision must be acted upon at all levels.

There is strict need to stop child Labour in this country. Awareness must be raised and the attention of parents ought to be diverted to the education of their children. Child Labour Laws should be put into practice strictly. In addition, the educational system of the country-must be reshaped and restructured according to national development goals. The orphans and other deserving children must be helped financially on a prolonged basis. It is also essential to eliminate child Labour from the country, that the political, economical and social system of the country are need to be reshaped and such steps taken that make child Labour in this country a crime. They should bring on the well-being of a lay man, good governance and end to exploitative thinking. If we succeed to act upon these principles, our country can easily get rid of this problem i.e. child Labour. The agreement that has recently been approved by Pakistan, Norway and ILO to eradicate child Labour must be given importance and we hope that our rulers must put this agreement into practice using all means at their disposal.

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