I WANT TO BECOME A SPORTSMAN : Akshay's story.
My first interaction with Akshay was sending him out of the class for his fights with other students of the classroom. It was my third day of teaching and in the middle of the class Akshay started hitting other students of the class. The reason he stated was being teased by other students. Akshay comes from a low income family in Kubernagar who frequently sees this behavior in his community. The whole year went almost the same way. Every alternate day Akshay would do something that would make me cut his recess, stay after school or complain to his parents. I would talk to him and his parents very often about behaving the right way but there was no improvement coming from his side. I have seen him bleed, made other students bleed, scratch or bite them simply because they teased him. This behavior also affected his studies and he continued to drop down from the level he was in. I was clueless what to do because neither the reward nor the consequence was working for the kid. The major problem was he had a very good emotional connect with me still he was not able to control his anger.
Akshay talks about why he plays football ?
Akshay joined the football team in August 2017 when we started practicing daily. He is one of the most regular player till now. In ground also in the beginning he had a lot of fights with the team mates. But slowly after playing with them daily the problems gradually reduced. He learnt teamwork, felt pride in playing for the team, showed focus, worked hard everyday which reflected in his studies too. Got conscious about his health and the food that he ate. I am writing this post today and I see huge change in this young man. Now Akshay is a co-leader of his team in class. He has stopped being angry for small reasons. I hardly see him fighting with anyone but rather have seen him resolving issues of others by talking. His reading levels increased by 2 grades and he has acquired very good math skills. I believe that a lot of factors have changed this troubling child from being destructive to a leader now but joining sports was one of the major step in his journey. I wish Akshay achieves his dream of becoming a footballer one day. The hopes and dreams in his eyes make me believe that he will.
There are many students like Akshay who have tremendous potential and can achieve anything if their energy is channelized in right direction. They just need the right opportunity and resources.