Inclusion of alisthenics as part extra-curricular activities in schools will uplift the standard of education, increase mental alertness, enhance team work and promote innovativeness of the pupils.
This was the submission of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State during the calisthenics competition held in Osogbo City stadium to mark his seventh anniversary as governor.
In addition to mental and physical development, Aregbesola said the inclusion of calisthenics in the co-curricular activities would help instill discipline, unity of purpose and sense of responsibility in the students.
The final of the calisthenics competition witnessed three Middle Schools from Osun East, Osun West and Osun Central Senatorial Districts of the state.
Twenty-one middle schools in the nine constituencies in the state competed in the event.
Spectators at the fully-filled stadium were thrilled and held spell-bound as they watched the calisthenic display which involved an average of 600 pupils of junior secondary schools from each of the three Districts.
It will be recalled that calisthenics was first introduced by the authorities in 2012 to improve the character and competencies in the education sector.
But the exercises were scrapped for political reasons.
“We introduced calisthenics display sometimes in October 2012 in order to raise educational consciousness in our students. It was however misrepresented as a private security outfits by some political gladiators, due to the exercises involved.
“We thank God it was later reintroduced and has shown the uniqueness of this present administration, which will come to an end in the next 357 days,” said the governor.
Aregbesola thanked the organisers of the calisthenics competition for making the event colourful.
He praised the winner of the competition that went home with a trophy and with a cash prize of N2 million.
The first and second runners up got cash prize of N1 million and N750,000 respectively.
The governor directed that the cash awards be used to develop sport facilities in schools in the senatorial districts.
In a remark, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Wasiu Omotunde-Young expressed appreciation to the organisers of the event, the coaches, parents as well as the children for making the event a successful one.
Omotunde-Young urged the people to continue to support the governor in his efforts to lay a solid foundation for their children’s education.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo