Following recent exploits of Grange School at the 2020 World School Games in Dubai, Chairperson of the Lagos-based school’s Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), Tairat Tijani, has said curriculum experts must make efforts to give sport its rightful place in the school system.
According to Tijani, “the reality is that quite a number of schools are not structured to encourage sporting activities. Not everyone is meant to be in the classroom. If a parent sees that their child has interest in one sports or the other, that parent should give them all the support and exposure to external competitions and not rely entirely on the school sports structure.
“I think the school curriculum has to change in order to change the mindset of many people about sports and so that many pupils can be identifies and realize their potential in sports. Also, there must be recognition for schools doing well in sports,” she said.
However, Tijani also noted “that schools are becoming more aware of the opportunity they are going to get in terms of sports especially with regards to overseas scholarship, so some schools are now beginning to implement better sporting activities.
Tijani’s interest in sports was sparked by her son’s enthusiasm. She said: “My interest in sports started when my son exhibited a flair for swimming. I knew people were swimming in his school but he was not really part of the swimming team.
“So when I realized that my son started enjoying swimming and he was progressing, I said maybe this is something we could actually develop.
“I never once thought I would be a mother of a potential sports champion in school but when I saw he had the capacity to do it I supported him. Not everyone is academically inclined and I have always been passionate about ensuring children identify their passion and build on it, because, passion is key for progress,” she noted.
The PTA chairperson stressed that sport has great potential for pupils as it could spur them to success in other spheres of life. Her words: “There is something unique about successful people. They try and fail several times but they never ever give up. You can’t teach someone that but he or she must experience same to have an appreciation for what it takes to succeed. My son was never always the best in swimming. He tried severally before he started getting medals at competitions. But I kept telling him you have to get up and that it is not about being defeated. So that experience is going to go a long way for him.
“Sports teach you not to be complacent and not to give up. So for me my son has learnt a valuable lesson to never give up in the face of life’s challenges through sport. That is a skill or disposition he would need to succeed in life as a whole.”