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Don Bosco High School, Matunga wins best School Award in Sports and Recreational Initiatives in Education in India

By Mr Barrington Serrao
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Mumbai, Sep. 30. The Don Bosco High School at Matunga in Mumbai has been awarded the best School in India in Sports and Recreational Education activities at the IDA (India Didactics Association) Education exhibition and awards program on 24th Sept 2019 at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bengaluru.  Cliffrichard D'Souza, Vice-Principal of the school represented the school at the impressive ceremony attended by educators, IDA association members of various countries and business partners.  India Didactics Association (IDA) is the only exclusive membership association in India for education and training fraternity engaged in improving learning and teaching
IDA recognizes institutions which have made a qualitative impact on the students, staff and the organization as a whole and pursues new opportunities, engages in continuous innovation, and exhibits a high degree of accountability for quality education. The IDA Education Awards are adjudged on the basis of performance in operational benchmarks and acknowledge projects that bring together education in line with the new socio-economic developments, where learning outcomes are optimized and learning is enhanced.

Don Bosco High School, is blessed with a state of the art sports and recreational facilities. The school has a sprawling campus that lends itself to many activities and sport besides regular academics. In a huge development, the last scholastic year 2018-19 witnessed the creation of new and renovated sports facilities viz. one new football turf and a new hockey turf, a new indoor basketball court and the renovation of three existing basketball courts, refurbishment of the natural grass football ground and cricket grounds/nets for practice. The cynosure of all these was the inauguration of the newly constructed standard size hockey turf on the campus, on 30 March 2019. Hockey luminaries of the country, Principals of institutions, well wishers and young students were in attendance for the grand moment. A star studded team comprising former Olympian hockey players took centre stage for an exhibition match against the past and present students of the school.
The school has a unique feature that helps promote sport and identify talent in the form of a Sports division for every standard from Std II to IX. The division has a special time-table which enables the students to be trained within the curriculum, without missing out on his studies during school hours on a regular basis. Another special feature aiding recreational activities in the Primary section is the plethora of activities as part of the school curriculum. These activities include gymnastics, skating, judo, karate, chess, speech and drama, art and craft, skating, lawn tennis, dance and robotics. Each child gets to choose two activities of his choice in which he receives training during the year.

Father Bernard Fernandes, Principal of Don Bosco High School  says, ''With a robust structure in place for the growth of sporting and recreational activities, it is no wonder that the school is considered as the powerhouse of sports in Mumbai and India. The school has been winning awards consistently in sports and acclaimed by sports aficionados.'' In a record of sorts, on 24th July 2019, the school was awarded the MSSA (Mumbai Schools Sports Association) instituted Best Boys school award in Sports in Mumbai for the best all round performance in sports for the 16th consecutive year. The 'Mr. Niranjan R. Ganjawalla Challenge Trophy for the Best All Round Boys School in Sports' was received by Father Bernard Fernandes, Principal, Mr Cliffrichard D'Souza, Vice-Principal of the school and  Mr Barrington Serrao, Sports Coordinator at the award ceremony held at the MSSA 127th Annual General Body meeting held at B.N.Vaidya Hall, IES, Dadar, Mumbai.

The school was voted the best boys school in sports in Mumbai by SJAM (Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai) for the period Aug 2017 to July 2018. The school bagged this award for the second year in succession for it's consistent performance in MSSA, DSO and other associations' organized inter school sports. The awards ceremony was held on October 11, 2018 at the CK Nayudu Hall, Cricket Club of India, Dinshaw Vachha Road, Churchgate, Mumbai. Distinguished sportspersons MM Somaya, Padmakar Shivalkar, Adille Sumariwalla and Yasin Merchant were the honoured guests and they gave away the prizes.

Besides these laudable achievements, the school students grow with international sports exchange programs. A formidable bastion of sport, the school encourages students to step up their game through international training and experience. Three of our students currently benefitted from their sports coaching programs abroad. Master Sahil Jadhav of Std. IX attended a cricket exchange program with Wells Cathedral School, UK from 5th May 2019. This program was in recognition of his talent at cricket. Sahil was being mentored in cricket along with his studies for a period of close to two months during his stay in the UK. Sayhan Khan, studying in Std. IV along with his brother, Sayed Khan of Std. VII made it to Japan for a month's advanced training camp for Judo in the Federation of Judo, Wakayama. The camp in Tokyo, from 6th June to 2nd July, was an intensive training opportunity from the best coaches of the prestigious training institute. It is also a Japanese-Indian cultural exchange program.

The management, staff and students at Don Bosco High School, Matunga consider this an honour bestowed on us by the IDA and we will continue to keep this legacy (of every Salesian institution!) alive through our constant endeavours and engaging innovative practices.

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