UAE: These Dubai Students Got Near-Perfect Exam Scores, Thanks To Sports

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sat 15 Jun 2024, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Jun 2024, 9:33 PM

Nihaan Mohammed, a 15-year-old student at The Indian High School, had always been good at academics. However, after becoming physically active and taking up badminton, he excelled in his studies and emerged as one of the toppers in his school's 10th board examination.

“My academic journey saw a significant boost when I began playing badminton in Grade 5,” said Mohammed. The physical activity did more than just keep him fit.“Badminton not just kept me active, but enhanced my focus and grasping capacity. I recently completed my 10th grade with a score of 98.2 percent,” said Mohammed, adding that sport has not only contributed to his physical well-being but also sharpened his mental faculties.

Despite a demanding training schedule of three hours daily, Nihaan has mastered the art of balancing sports and studies.“I trained four days a week and dedicated time to study. I realised that physical activities and studies complement each other, which can lead to overall excellence,” said Mohammed.

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Similarly, the transformation of excelling in academics by being physically active was also experienced by Omar Al Khatib, a 14-year-old Egyptian student at a private school located in Al Mamzar in Dubai. He had also become an example of how physical activities can significantly enhance academic performance.

Omar, who once showed a lesser interest in his studies, recently secured an 'A' with an impressive 94 percent in his grade 9 examinations.“In grade 7, I secured C and a percentage of 78. I want much active in sports back then,” said Al Khatib.

“Once my cousin's brother requested me to accompany him for his football match. I got a chance to play, although I did not know how to play. That got me interested and I joined an academy near my house,” said Al Khatib, a resident of Al Nahda 2 in Dubai.

“I trained for two hours every evening at Al Ittihad School. And since then, I could feel the transformation in me,” said Al Khatib, adding that football played a crucial role in reshaping his academic performance.“The sport has not only improved my physical fitness but also significantly enhanced my mental abilities.”

Importance of physical activities for students

According to doctors, physical activities are crucial for students for several reasons like helping maintain a healthy weight, strengthening muscles and bones, improving cardiovascular endurance, and enhancing mental health by reducing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.“Physical activities help in building discipline, teamwork, and resilience, which are essential skills for personal and academic development,” said Dr Joana Coelho, consultant family medicine, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery, Dubai.

Dr Joana Coelho. Photo: Supplied

In the case of Mohammed and Al Khatib, sports seem to have not only improved their physical condition but also enhanced their cognitive abilities and focus, leading to superior academic performance, said Dr Coelho.

Exercise influencing academic performance

Regular exercise can positively influence academic performance in several ways.“Firstly, it improves concentration and attention, allowing students to focus better during classes and while studying. Exercise also enhances memory and cognitive function, making it easier for students to grasp and retain new information,” said Dr Coelho, adding that physical activity can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, enabling students to engage more actively in their academic activities.

The doctor also mentioned that the discipline and time management skills developed through regular exercise can translate into better study habits.“In Mohammed's and Al Khatib's case, their dedication to sports likely helped them develop a structured routine and a strong work ethic, contributing to their academic success.

Exercise impacts physical health, mental well-being

Physical exercise has an impact on both physical health and mental well-being.“Regular exercise boosts the immune system and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity,” said Dr Coelho.“Mentally, exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, known as feel-good hormones, which help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression,” she added.


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