The importance of sports to the academic performance

By Joshua Ndayikunda

When it comes to finding time to practice sports, most schools and universities try their best to have them in plenty. In primary school, sport was the most popular activity. Do you still flash back how entertaining inter class games were? What about complaints over shortage of sports time? All these queries rotate around how tremendous sports is valued in schools and universities. But why? Does it have positive impact on student’s academic performance?

Kayumba Sotel, a former Finance student at Universite Libre de Kigali (ULK) who also played for AS Kigali football team in Azam Rwanda Premier League, revealed that playing football helped him improve his academic performance.

“Being active in sports while still studying has a positive impact on the student’s academic performances. Sports serves as a good stress reliever and this enables me to concentrate on my studies. I also believe that when we are physically active, there is more oxygen that is being taken to the brain and this helps in problem solving.”, elaborated Kayumba.

Researchers say that a healthy student performs better than an unhealthy student during exams.

Emmanuel Wibaza, a third year student in University of Rwanda, pursuing Finance, told us that sport helps him diminish tiredness, stress and eventually acquire warm atmosphere when revising. Nevertheless, he admits that sports contribute in generating good mood, mind refreshments, gain good oxygen in the body, breathing well, bumping up endurance and the like.

“Personally, I train continuously after classes. Ever since I started doing that, I have seen good result academically. Because when I’m in preps, I do revise my studies without stress or bad mood. Instead, I spend a long time reading and sincerely speaking I do perform better when the exams come.” Said Wibaza.

Despite the positive impact of sports on students” academics, it is still a big issue for many students to find such activities at the university. For instance, at UR Gikondo campus, you find that most of sports pitches are empty.

The minster in charge of sports and culture at Gikondo campus, Charles however, said that they look forward to creating awareness on the importance of sports amongst the students. Further, he explains that they will bring gymnastic at the campus as another kind of sports.

“Sports play a vital role to the student’s academic performance. Therefore we are going to start gymnastic at the Gikondo campus and enable students to participate in different competitions to boost sports’ spirit among the student’s academic performance.” He said.