19 Sep 2020

ELMS Sports Foundation Successfully Trains over 10,000 PE Teachers in India

The lockdown has changed our lives in many ways than one. In addition to enduring the constant lockdown rules and restricting ourselves to our houses, we also had to change our modes of work. Instead of working from an office space, we were asked to convert our homes into an office. There was no way we could gather in a place or meet people. As a result, just as it has affected the other industries, it seemed like the COVID-19 pandemic would have a huge impact on the work we do at ELMS. The ELMS Sports Foundation, under the mentorship of Pullela Gopichand and Abhinav Bindra, conducts various on-ground training programs and workshops for physical education (PE) teachers, coaches and sports administrators in different parts of the country to create awareness about physical literacy and high performance sports in India. ELMS has conducted on-field training in various states, from Gujarat to Mizoram. However, with the lockdown in place and the uncertainty around the pandemic, there was little hope of continuing with our mission. Nevertheless, we decided not to buckle down and shifted gears. We at ELMS challenged ourselves to convert this adversity into an opportunity and eventually endeavored into the realm of online training.

“I am humbly grateful to all the Physical Education teachers who have attended the six-module foundation program by ELMS Sports Foundation. It is a concrete step towards achieving our mission to provide quality Physical Literacy experience to children, and a fitter India in the future.” Vita Dani (Director, ELMS Sports Foundation)

Today, ELMS Sports Foundation has successfully trained more than 10,000 PE teachers across the country. In the North of India, we conducted workshops for PE teachers from the states of Punjab, Delhi, and Jharkhand. In Central India, we covered the states like Madhya Pradesh. In South India, we trained PE teachers from the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In East India, we had participants from the states of Odisha and Tripura, and in the West of India, we covered the state of Maharashtra.

The goal  of training over 10,000 PE teachers in India would not have been achieved without our partnership with a few key organisations. ELMS received support from private organisations such as Ambuja Cement, Tata Trusts, and SBI Foundation, who collaborated with us for the training programs.

The ELMS team used both the top-down and bottom-up approach when conducting the online training programs. In the top-down approach, team ELMS approached the different state governments to seek their support for conducting the online training programs. With the cooperation of the government officials, we could bring together more than 10,000 PE teachers from diverse cultures and environments on a common platform and impart to them the knowledge of physical literacy and help them realise its need in our country.

In the bottom-up approach, team ELMS approached PE teachers associations in different parts of the country and updated them regarding its online training program. Following the training program, which included members from the PE teachers associations, team ELMS identified and trained a few master trainers from each district and equipped them to train other PE teachers in their respective districts.

The training programs covered various topics such as “Key Terms of Physical Education”, “Minor Games”, “Physical Literacy”, “Human Values in Physical Education”, “Curriculum and Pedagogy Guidelines”, and “Assessment in Physical Education”. These topics were delivered by in-house experts as well as external experts.

The task of training 10,000+ PE teachers certainly seemed herculean and daunting at the beginning. Nevertheless, each session was designed to make it engaging and interactive for the participants by incorporating activities and quizzes in the sessions. Most of the PE teachers had not attended any such training in their service before, and were glad to receive knowledge about physical literacy. They were impressed with the content delivered in each session and the training material that was shared with them. However, some of the teachers faced a few issues on the technical front but with the support of team ELMS, they learnt to adapt to the new technology and got comfortable attending sessions on online platforms.

Overall, it was a highly enriching experience for both the PE teachers and team ELMS. The content for each session was customized as per the culture and environment of each state. As a result, the participants could connect easily with the tailor-made content. With the demand from the PE teachers for more such sessions, team ELMS has started a Sunday Special training program, which specifically caters to the niche topic of spreading physical literacy in government schools.

“It’s a momentous occasion for ELMS Sports Foundation and the team. I would like to congratulate each and everyone who has been part of our journey to reach this milestone.” Monalisa Barua Mehta (Director, ELMS Sports Foundation)

Looking back, it has been close to seven months since the lockdown was first imposed. Had we at ELMS decided to wait for the lockdown to be lifted, we could not have achieved this goal of training 10,000+ PE teachers from different parts of the country. The work, dedication, coordination, and foresightedness of the team members at ELMS has been laudable. However, having a great team is only possible when you are directed by equally great leaders, and team ELMS is extremely fortunate to be receiving guidance from advisors such as P. Gopichand and Abhinav Bindra.

Moreover, ELMS Foundation is guided by the most energetic Board of Directors, Vita Dani, Kamlesh Mehta, and Monalisa Barua Mehta. Vita Dani is a sports entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the co-owner of the ‘Chennaiyin FC’. Kamlesh Mehta, an Indian Table Tennis legend, Arjuna Awardee, two-time Olympian (1988 & 1994) and an eight-time national table tennis champion. Monalisa Barua Mehta is the first woman Arjuna Awardee from the North East, and a national Table Tennis champion who represented India from 1978 to 1991. These guiding personalities encourage and steer the ELMS Foundation towards its vision of helping each Indian be on their journey of physical literacy.