Sophia Banos – Lindner, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Dubai American Academy students patiently waited for the return of extracurricular activities, including the different sports and clubs, after the winter holidays. KHDA had restricted sports due to the rising Covid-19 cases in Dubai. During this time, the teachers gave students various tasks outside of school to keep them fit, such as long-distance running. Finally, on January 14th, the school notified students that sports would return to campus for Season 2 on the week of February 1st.
Students were excited to resume training with their teammates once again. After only one training session, it became clear how important it was for students to socialize and exercise, especially following a long period of isolation. The return of sports at DAA positively affected students inside and outside the classroom. Many studies have shown that physical activity improves the ability of students to concentrate and focus.
Additionally, research has shown that physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates those parts activated during and after the exercise. It is proven that starting your day with physical activity positively affects brain function. Moreover, decision-making and mood remain more stable as the day goes by. This may also be a psychological effect because no matter how the day goes, there is a feeling that something has already been achieved. Exercise improves the mental health of students and enables their positive problem-solving strategies.
American schools are some of the most supportive school systems and offer a great range of extracurricular activities. Sports are valued and seen as an integral part of the educational process. There is an effort to help students find their passion in different sports, unlike schools in the German system, where extracurricular activities, especially sports, are limited or not offered.
Season 3 sports are coming soon. Students are looking forward to choosing between Track and Field, Badminton, Speech and Drama, Junior Fine Arts, Baseball, and Softball. To minimize the possibility of Covid cases and to ensure the safety of staff and students, masks will be required even during sports, and most extracurricular activities will take place remotely. Nevertheless, for most students, this requirement is a small price to pay against being able to participate in sports and extracurricular activities.
Athletics and extracurricular activities have long been an essential part of shaping the DAA community and forming a united family. The entire student body, led by the senior leadership team, looks forward to what awaits students in Season 3.