Holistic Education through Sports!
“All study and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb not only applies to Jack but for all of us. The importance of sports in the life of a young student is invaluable and goes much further than the basic answer that “it keeps kids off the streets.” In order for this to happen, school sports programs must have a few components in place. This time we have an innovative venture Edusports which takes the responsibility to prepare these kids not only in sports, but in their everyday lives. YourStory had a conversation with Saumil Majmudar, the founder of Edu Sports, where he discussed his entrepreneurial journey.
What is EduSports?
EduSports uses structured physical activity and sports as a pedagogical tool for developing mental skills, behavioural skills, and physical conditioning in the children. Based on its deep experience with over 500 schools, and over 100,000 children of various age-groups, EduSports offers structured physical activity & sports curriculum, along with age-appropriate props & equipment to conduct the activities, and a series of intensive workshops/ interactions with the school teachers & parents to deliver the overall program.
What is the basic idea behind this venture?
Parents are concerned about their children’s health and fitness. Children want to play. There are no places to play. Schools have Physical Education and Sports as part of their prescribed timetable – but in most cases, they are not delivering on the promise of Physical Education especially for the smaller kids.
EduSports fills this gap in the market by providing a structured Physical Education and Sports program that fits into the school’s context and helps create “Physically Educated” children while ensuring that all stakeholders (parents, teachers, school leaders) are involved in the process.
What type of schools do you prefer as your client?
Kindergarten-12 Schools in India. Our immediate focus is the Kindergarten-4 group and we are rolling out the 5th to 8th offering as well.
What according to you makes you different from other such ventures?
There are no other such ventures in India – as of now but we believe the following will be the key differences
- 7 years of experience with kids and sports in India. Worked with over 100,000 kids in the last 7 years in the sports context.
- SOAR: India’s first school sports management platform that helps schools improve the overall quality of the PE and sports experience through various services/products like age-appropriate PE curriculum, age-appropriate props, daily lesson plans, teacher training, parent workshops, individualized fitness reports etc.
- Deep understanding of the issues involved in kids sports.
- On-ground implementation: Our model involves having at least 1 person onsite (i.e at the school) throughout the year and support the delivery of the program.
- Network of relationships in the sports ecosystem that can be leveraged to constantly improve the value proposition
- Indigenous curriculum – designed for Indian kids with the Indian context in mind. Not imported an American or Australian sports program.
- Team consisting of folks that believe in the value of sports in Education.
- Successful on-ground implementation. We have already run the program for nearly 30,000 kids for over a year now. Significant learnings have been incorporated into our delivery model.
- Scalable delivery system: we have great people who have incorporated processes, technology into the delivery system – therefore ensuring scalability.
What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I identified an opportunity to make a real big difference while doing something I really enjoy which is sports and what inspired me was the opportunity to create value and wealth for self and other stakeholders and team members.
What challenges did you come across so far?
In the early days, getting to school management and convincing them about the need to consider PE and sports as a part of Education – and not as an extra-curricular activity that can always be dropped if there is a conflict with core subjects was the biggest challenge.
We spent a lot of time publishing articles, speaking at seminars talking about the Educational value of the sports experience and how it helps children develop into balanced personalities with social skills and the attributes required for success in adult life (goal-setting, teamwork, leadership, dealing with failure etc)
What are your future plans?
We are currently live in thirty five schools across fifteen cities in India covering 30,000 children, 1000 teachers, and 20,000 parents. Will be going live in another twenty five schools across 8 cities in June/ July 2010and help develop healthy & fit school children through the magic of sports.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
From a customer perspective: Delivering on the promise of improved health and fitness and getting kids to enjoy Play.
From an internal perspective: Being able to put together a great team that believes in the vision and is excited about the opportunity.
The fact that when we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves, goals in terms of number of kids experiencing the magic of sport and becoming “Champions in Life”, parents appreciating the difference we have made to their child’s life is what keeps us in it. By the most important people of all: The kids. They love our program and look forward to the EduSports “class”. That’s the biggest award of them all.
What do you think the coming entrepreneurs need to focus on?
One should never give up and should work with the network. There are lot of people willing to help you, you just need to ask.
YourStory wishes Saumil Majmudar and his innovative creation Edusports all the luck and success in the coming years.
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