Our life begins with senses, so does our knowledge. Though a baby begins to develop senses— sight, smell, sound, taste and touch—in the womb itself, the coordination between the senses is what a child learns to manage during the growing-up years. Two Delhi-based entrepreneurs have set up NCR’s first centre for the multi-sport coaching programme, Enjoy-a-Ball, in Dwarka.
The unique programme introduces children between the ages of three and nine to the wonders of 10 ball sports, thus making them learn balancing, hand-eye coordination, basic ball skills along with important life skills.
Jaspreet Chandhok, an architect by education, who runs one of India’s leading lighting design firms, Ethereal Designs, and an astute IT professional, Harveen, are working relentlessly to bring ‘fun into sports’.
The unique multi-sports coaching programme from the UK was brought to India by Pooja Erande and Neha Garg in 2012 through master franchise route, and since then they have spread it with 25 centres in Mumbai, Chennai, and Pune.
During a class that stretches for an hour and runs once a week, children are engaged in ball games such as hockey, volleyball, tennis, cricket, football, handball, dodgeball, baseball, basketball and rugby in a warm, fun-filled and non-competitive environment.
The idea is to capitalise on the fact that children get into sports to have fun. Calling her programme child-development centric rather than sports, Jaspreet says, “We are always taught to respect our elders. We wish there were equal, if not more emphasis, on ‘respecting children’. In a class of 30 students, only three kids get the podium position in a race. Have you ever thought how remaining 27 little minds feel? Unfortunately, many kids stop playing sport because of a negative experience or a bad start in gaining early fundamental skills. Our objective is to make child’s first experiences with sports a memorable and encouraging experience.”
Creative methods and age-appropriate equipment such as balance beams, walking blocks, and flippers are used to help kids develop movement and sports skills. Harveen says, “Enjoy-a-Ball is a fun-based programme during which children tend to build passion for a particular sport. Apart from physical development, we focus on developing life skills such as positive attitude, self-esteem, concentration, social interaction, sportsmanship values and confidence.”
The programme is divided into three stages—Bee Bops for 3-4-year-olds, Play Ball Level 1 for 4-5 years old and Level 2 for 5-6 years old, and Champs for 7-8 years old kids. “We believe that the capability and potential of a three-year-old is different from that of a four-year-old. That is why we run our classes with kids of same age groups only, and we limit our class sizes to 12. This means more attention to your child,” says Jaspreet.
The award-winning multi-sports programme was developed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and physical education specialists with the goal of giving children a solid foundation in movement, sports and social skills.
Moderately priced at `1,400 a month and `3,600 a quarter, the programme has attracted a lot of positive attention. Over 90 kids have enrolled for the course, within a week of its launch. “Sports are essential for proper growth and personality development. If physical, mental and emotional skills can be imbibed in fun way, then why not,” says Gaurav Kandpal, an IT professional, who has enrolled his three-year-old daughter Vani in the programme. Classes are being held at Delhi International School Edge, Sector 18, Dwarka, and the couple plans to expand it across NCR with more centres.
The key takeaways of the multi-sports coaching program are:
Age-specific small-size classes developed by experts
Fun-filled and non-competitive environment helps kids open up
Multi-sports programme helps kids develop passion for games
Helps kids learn balancing, and hand-eye coordination
Instills positivity, self-esteem, concentration, and confidence