Relevance of sports education in times of COVID-19

Relevance of sports education in times of COVID-19

Although most of the sports activities and events are kept on hold due to COVID-19, academicians are hopeful of getting a good number of enrollments in sports and related programmes due to increase in awareness about the significance of fitness and immunity. For instance, the Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak which offers the postgraduate programme in sports management has received close to 400 applications for 50 seats this year as compared t0 400 in 2019 and more than 300 in 2018.

The programme is offered to educate professionals in a variety of sports management career options.

“The ongoing crisis calls for a greater attention on physical fitness, health and one cannot rule out the role of sports in keeping a person healthy and fit,” says Dheeraj Sharma, director, IIM Rohtak.

“In addition to making you physically strong, getting an education in this field can help build a sound career option. The formation of various sports league such as Indian Premier League (Cricket), Hockey India League, Indian Badminton League, Prokabbadi, Indian Super League (Football) etc has created the need for professionals in sports domain. However, the unavailability of trained workforce continues to be a challenge,” says Lieutenant General (Retd) JS Cheema, vice chancellor, Maharaja Bhupindera Singh Punjab Sports University, Patiala.

Job roles

After pursuing a professional course, says Cheema in the sports sector enables candidates to become a sports manager, data analyst, event and media manager, sports writer, editor, trainer, coach, nutritionist, public relation officers, coordinator of sports organisations, marketing consultant, programme and facility manager etc. He adds that a sound knowledge of various domains in this field will not only prepare you for the job, instead, it creates way to become an entrepreneur as well.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Cheema is optimistic about good enrollments this year. The university currently offers undergraduate programme in sports science, sports nutrition and dietetics, Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga, PGD in Sports Management, MSc in Yoga.

Emergence of e-sports

Talking about the impact of the pandemic on sports, Cheema says that it is a temporary problem. “The impact is quite evident but it will fade out soon and sports industry will grow exponentially,” adds Cheema. who believes that the current crisis can lead to the emergence of e-sports in India which will be a new domain.

Emphasizing on the importance of out-of-the-box ideas to revive the sports sector, IIM Rohtak director also has the same opinion about the emergence of remotely proctored e-sports. ”In addition to e-sports, tournaments can be organised without the audience in the field in view of the COVID-19,” says Sharma.

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