For the spring semester, students and CTBC International Academy will have the opportunity for some weekly exercise and friendly competition. Teachers will choose one sport or game each week and prepare the necessary equipment. After cleaning time on Thursday afternoons, students will be able to participate in volleyball, badminton, whiffle ball, soccer, table tennis, and others. The activities will be for fun and enjoyment with some light competition available for those wanting it. Participation is completely voluntary. It is also a chance for students and teachers to interact in a completely different atmosphere from that of the classroom.
So far, participation has been increasing each week, with students enjoying a chance to socialize, get some movement, and engage in some of their favourite activities. Students in Taiwan often do not get enough exercise or opportunity to engage in athletic pastimes, with academic pursuits sometimes being pushed to the avoidance of all other interests. Children and teenagers are frequently sent to cram schools after their regular school lets out for more practice in math, English, or science. Parents feel pressure to do this to help their children gain a small advantage in the ultra-competitive Taiwanese academic atmosphere.
However, such a heavy study schedule can cause a serious imbalance in children’s physical and mental growth. Research has shown that teenagers need regular exercise to stay healthy, to burn off excess energy, and for mental wellbeing. If the exercise is done in an enjoyable way then it is all the better. Some students need daily strenuous movement while others can benefit from more relaxed activities. The best exercise is that which leaves the participants feeling mentally and physically lifted.
Regular involvement in sports can also help develop spatial awareness, kinesthetic intelligence, and strategic thinking. Individual sports can improve confidence, focus, and self-reliance while team sports emphasize the ability to perform well with teammates, a critical skill in many professions. Both kinds of sports can be social as well and a great way to make new friends.
The students of CIA are indeed fortunate to have a spacious, wide-open campus with ample sports facilities and the time after school to enjoy them. In addition to the Thursday afternoon sports, classes are offered in golf, tennis, and soccer, and evening clubs offer basketball, volleyball, badminton, and others. Hopefully as many students take advantage of the opportunities as possible.