Mumbai: With many students in the city managing to score 100 per cent in their SSC exams thanks to the 25 marks they received for sports, children and teachers are increasingly waking up to the academic benefits of sporting activity.

Manan Ved of Kandivli, who got 22 marks for his good performance in tug-of-war matches, pushing his total to 550 out of 550.

Taking up a sport in school was always seen as beneficial because it kept children fit and helped them focus better, but now, with marks being given for it, parents and students are seeing it as an even more profitable proposition.

This year, 12,000 students secured a 100-per cent result and more than 70,000 got a distinction. Teachers say a lot of the credit for this goes to the marks allotted for sports and cite the example of Kandivli resident Manan Ved, who got 22 marks for his good performance in tug-of-war matches, pushing his total to 550 out of 550.

Raju Pathak, sports in-charge, Rizvi Education Society, said, "Six of our students have secured more than 75 per cent in this year's SSC exam thanks to the marks allotted for sports. Taking up a sport not only keeps the children physically and mentally fit, but also helps them in their studies."

Nilesh Bhosle, coaching in-charge, Chandrakant Pandit Cricket Clinic, which coaches students of Hansraj Morarji Public High School, Andheri, said, "Sports teach students to handle pressure well and also help them concentrate better. It isn't just about the sports marks, being mentally fit help them score better generally as well."

Vijay Khot, assistant cricket coach, IES New English school, Bandra, said, "Our school has decided to start a sports division from this year to encourage budding stars. Every child in this division will be given special attention not only in sports but also in academics. Our principal, BM Hazare, is very keen on getting girls to take up sports as well."

Students' take

Chaitanya Parab of Dominic Savio Vidyalaya, Ghatkopar, who secured 98.91 per cent in his SSC exam, says his decision to take up basketball paid off in more ways than one.

"Playing basketball helped me focus on my studies better and the marks that I got for it helped push my percentage close to 99."

Sixteen-year-old Rugved Insulkar of the Springfield Rizvi School, Bandra, agreed. "I wish to pursue a career in cricket and that is why I took it up in school a long time ago. I have played at the national level and I never got bored with studies because I was involved in sports."

Jayam Singh from Hansraj Morarji Public school, who secured 65 per cent this year, said, "I was a captain of the school cricket team and one of the biggest academic takeaways from that is that I can seek admission in a good college through the sports quota despite not scoring very well in the SSC exam."