Education official frowns on : Child abuse at Kids Athletics | Sunday Observer

Education official frowns on : Child abuse at Kids Athletics

From left: Damitha Kulatunga Senior manager Corporate and Public Affairs of Nestle, Bandula Egodage Vice President Corporate Affairs of Nestle Lanka at the presentation of the trophy for Kids Athletics to Sunil Jayaweera Special Consultant Ministry of Education.
From left: Damitha Kulatunga Senior manager Corporate and Public Affairs of Nestle, Bandula Egodage Vice President Corporate Affairs of Nestle Lanka at the presentation of the trophy for Kids Athletics to Sunil Jayaweera Special Consultant Ministry of Education.

Special Consultant to the Ministry of Education Sunil Jayaweera expressed his disgust that some schools have turned the concept of promoting sports for the enjoyment of kindergarten beginners into a highly commercialized business that demands too much from young participants.

He was speaking at the launch of the annual project called Kids Athletics to be held in Kandy next week.

“We started this Kids Athletics to give young school children a chance to enjoy themselves and get to know what sport is about. But sad to say some schools have hired professional coaches making the event something like a win-only-matters tournament,” said Jayaweera. Nestle Lanka and its health drink Milo are the promoters of the original concept to let children get a feel of track and field sports.

“We don’t want competition under pressure, we just want boys and girls to enjoy themselves,” said Jayaweera. The syndrome of professional school coaches have come in for serious questioning following the assault of a boy at the hands of his rugby coach.

Since then it has been revealed that schools all over the country especially in Colombo and Kandy recruit highly paid coaches for their sports teams that has resulted in them abusing boys and girls to produce favourable results and justify their pay.

Jayaweera thanked Nestle for sticking to the original concept of promoting Kids Athletics for enjoyment among the children and called on schools to refrain from hiring professional coaches.

More than a million children all over the island are said to be part of Kids Athletics.

“Children should be allowed to engage in the four Fs. Fun, Fitness, Fundamentals and Friendship in a suitable environment that provides a balance between studies and physical needs,” said Jayaweera. 

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