It is a Friday. The day is roasting hot and students are dashing around like agitated ants. The masculinity on campus is clad in sweatpants and the femininity in tights. It is a time of relief as every ounce of academic pressure is getting smashed on the boulders of various sports activities.
This was the scene at the last University of Zambia (UNZA) Sports and Recreation Day, which attracted a staff and student crowd.
The adage “All work no play makes Jack a dull boy” seem to apply more on students than any other grouping in society and the UNZA management does acknowledge this fact.
It was out of this realisation that UNZA management introduced the sports and recreation day to promote fitness and good health, not only among students but members of staff too.
The day was also meant to provide a platform where students and the members of staff could interact on a lighter note away from the lecture room environment.
UNZA Vice Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba, who himself turned up for this year’s Sports day activities clad in a track suit places great importance to this day.
“This day serves as an opportunity for the students and the members of staff to showcase their talents and explore their areas of interest in sports,” said Professor Mumba.
According to research, participation in sports and other physical activities has many benefits for students.
Firstly, it offers the individual university man a chance to enhance their physical and social skills.
Besides, sports provide students with diversion from the almost perpetual monotony of campus academic activities.
Sports is also a useful means of entertainment and physical activity for students, in fact, recreation eliminates the effects of unhealthy habits of students that may lead to various ailments such as heart diseases and high blood pressure to mention a few.
However, most UNZA students do not understand the value of this day which management has set aside for sporting activities.
Over three quarters of the student population shun the sports activities and use the day for personal errands out of campus while others just sleep in their rooms.
This year’s sports day which was held on September 14, was quiet a hive of activities which included sports such as football, long jump, badminton, weightlifting and rugby among others although students participation leaves much to be desired.
One of the participants, Arnold Chisola, a third-year student said he was happy that management had set this day aside for sports.
“I enjoyed it! Athletics is something I am so passionate about and the day allows me to showcase my talent, something which I do not do on a daily basis, because am usually buried in academic work,” Chisola stated.
Another student, Mercy Malamo a third year student in the school of Education was excited about scoping a financial award after participating in athletics and vowed to participate in the next year’s sports day.
“It is a nice experience which allows you to excising and improve your blood circulation and also allows you to win a prize if you put in your best as I have done,” Ms Malamo explained.
She encouraged other students who tend to shun these sports activities to turn up next year and shake their bodies for their own good.
The importance of keeping fit through excising can never be over emphasized and students should not be the least knowledgeable about this.
How much society has realised the health benefits associated with excising have already been demonstrated by the number of high ranking members of society flocking to gymnasiums and the money they are spending there as such students should take advantage of the sports day before they are forced to exercise by medical conditions.
It is said prevention is better than cur! Students should spare time to exercise to prevent heart related diseases that can come as a result of bad diets which they are subjected to due to their busy academic schedules that make preparation of proper food almost impossible.