Commentary

Having fun should be the main school of thought

A recent football match which saw the Singapore Sports School beat Assumption Pathway School 32-0 has sparked a debate about the purpose of school sport. The Straits Times’ Rohit Brijnath and Sazali Abdul Aziz offer their perspectives.

The Singapore Sports School won the 2018 B Division football title, their last of eight championships since 2007.
The Singapore Sports School won the 2018 B Division football title, their last of eight championships since 2007. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Everything attached to the word "school" must involve some idea of teaching. The dictionary insists on it, describing the places of our childhood as "institutions for educating children". And so every place children go, even beyond the walls of a school, must be a version of a classroom. It could be a museum, a nature park or even the sports field. This is merely sweaty learning.

School does things to us we don't even recognise till we're older. Till we lose a match as an adult and automatically extend a congratulatory hand without wondering, who taught us this. Actually coaches as teachers did, or was it teachers as our coaches?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 02, 2020, with the headline 'Having fun should be the main school of thought'. Subscribe