TWO incidents last month have highlighted the need for school officials to pay heed to students’ safety during sports activities.
During an archery practice in Gurun, Kedah on Feb 7, an arrow pierced a Form Four boy’s left eye.
Not a single teacher was around when it happened. The students were said to have got the archery equipment themselves.
The second mishap saw 18 pupils and three teachers suffering injuries, after a tent collapsed on them during Sports Day in Kuala Pilah.
The two incidents could have been avoided.
In recent years, school footballers had injured themselves (there were even cases of death) due to freak incidents when they clung to goalposts to celebrate after scoring.
Former Negri Sembilan Schools Sports Council chief athletics coach, MAA Anthonysamy said: “In athletics, we must first make sure the field is clear before throwing events such as javelin, discus, shot put and hammer are held.
“Even hurdles are dangerous as a hurdler can break his leg if he attempts to clear the weighted obstacle from the opposite direction.
“The teacher in charge should be on the field before the students arrive and take their attendance as well as appoint two quartermasters to assist the teacher in bringing the equipment from the storeroom and back.
“For example, only the quartermaster can bring back the javelin after the athletes have thrown them.
“If three javelins are used, the teacher must keep an eye on these javelins, as well as his students, as they may play with the javelins by throwing them around dangerously.
“When the Movement Control Order is lifted, we hope the various education institutions will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their students in sports activities.”