Leadership Development in Physical Education and Sport Science

Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education Joins ICSSPE
11/02/2020 16:44

ICSSPE met Dr Usha Nair of Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), one of ICSSPE’s latest members to learn about their current projects, goals and objectives for the ICSSPE membership. The Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education is based in India and aims to facilitate leaders in Physical Education, and Sports Science Education with a focus on research and development.  


ICSSPE: Let us start with some initial information about the College, please.


Dr Usha Nair: Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, bearing the name of Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi, the dauntless heroine of the First War of Independence, was established by the Government of India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and the Department of Education on 17th August 1985. The college is a humble tribute of the nation to the unrelenting spirit of freedom, valour and patriotism. The college is an off-shoot of Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Gwalior and now aims to provide excellent facilities for physical education and sports in the country. It serves as a model institute for teacher-training by offering under-graduate, post-graduate and doctoral studies.

As one of the first 16 Universities of India, the University of Kerala, that LNCPE is affiliated to, was first established as the University of Travancore in 1937. The University of Travancore was promulgated by the Maharaja of Travancore, Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and was the first Chancellor of the University. Sir C. P Ramaswamy Ayyar, the then Diwan (Prime Minister) of the State was the first Vice-Chancellor. It is said that the Government made an unsuccessful attempt to invite Albert Einstein as the first Vice-Chancellor. The University was modelled as one of the best Universities of the United Kingdom during the colonial rule, and even today it retains some of these features.

The University has over 150 affiliated colleges. The role of the University is in prescribing courses of study conducting examinations and issuing certificates. The University has a very democratic system of functioning and its supreme bodies - Senate and Academic Council – have a large number of elected members and students are also represented in these bodies. The executive body of the University, the Syndicate, also has a student representative in it. The University policies aim at student empowerment in every field.

The college is located on the northern side of the Kariavattom Campus of the University of Kerala, approximately 15 km from Thiruvananthapuram city. The expanse of coconut and cashew plantation in the campus has a soothing effect on the human body, mind and spirit.


ICSSPE: What are the aims and vision within your institution?


Dr Usha Nair: We aim to facilitate leaders in Physical Education, and Sports Science Education at the local level, regional, national, and ultimately at the international level with the focus on research and development. We will continue to nurture physical educators and other professionals who would be outstanding and instrumental for making sustained impact on social progress and human development, not only in India but also across the world.

The simultaneous embodying of physical education and sports science education facilitates the college to provide teacher education programmes to fulfil the following objectives: Nurturing the quality of physical education teachers as well as sports coaches and trainers who are self-reliant, life-long learners, capable of integrating theory and practice to serve as role models and encourage personal and professional healthy behaviours;


To accomplish these aims, we are committed to

  • Maintaining our core mission of being the primary provider of physical education teachers in India;
  • Strategically expanding and extending the roles of physical education teachers;
  • Developing education-plus programmes by incorporating research and innovation in sports science and health education;
  • Enhancing professional standards by recruiting quality staff and promoting a research culture among staff and graduates that emphasizes quality education; and to
  • Engaging in strategic collaborations with various department–community partnerships.

The main objectives of the institution are:

  • Maintaining our core mission of being the provider of physical education teachers in India;
  • To provide excellent facilities for the upliftment of physical education and sports in the country and to serve as a model institute for teacher's training by offering undergraduate and post-graduate/ research courses;
  • To prepare highly competent and skilled leaders in the field of physical education and sports;
  • To serve as a Centre of Excellence for research in physical education and allied areas;
  • To provide technical, professional and academic leadership to other institutions of physical education;
  • To provide vocational guidance and placement services to the people in the field;
  • To develop and promote programmes of mass physical activity.

ICSSPE: What are your future plans and goals?


Dr Usha Nair: Our future plan is to increase the number of courses which would have scope in terms of employability and result in economic stability and to rise to the level of university which can provide quality education and would have standards of international repute.


ICSSPE: As a new ICSSPE member, what do you envision for future cooperation and collaborations with ICSSPE?


Dr Usha Nair: Being a member of the ICSSPE gives us access to resources and expertise in realising our dreams. Our problems could be shared and possible solutions could be developed to tackle many common problems in the field of physical education and sports. For example:

  • The need of regulatory body in physical education, in sports science courses and coaching courses;
  • Nomenclature of various physical education, sports science and coaching courses;
  • Accrediting agencies;
  • Common forum for physical education professionals share their issues;
  • International refresher courses in physical education, sports science and coaching.

ICSSPE: What are you most looking forward to regarding the ICSSPE membership?


Dr Usha Nair: Getting associated with ICSSPE itself is exciting, since it is the top most body of physical education. An opportunity to get to know professionals from across the world. Knowledge sharing and gaining, too, we seek guidance and help in professional matters relating to curriculum designing, teacher preparation etc.


ICSSPE: Has the current situation with COVID -19 impacted your University? If so how?


Dr Usha Nair: COVID-19 did impact the normal functioning of the physical education classes for the undergraduate and postgraduate students. Shifting of classes to online mode was initially difficult, since the students are not equipped with the technology at home, including the internet.

However, the Director General of the Sports Authority of India took the lead in starting online classes for coaches, which was a huge success. Coaches from across the country from various sport disciplines participated in a month long programme.

And it was indeed a blessing when the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports appointed us as the nodal agency to conduct physical education and community coaching programme for physical education teachers across the country. For the first batch 15000 physical education teachers registered, while nearly 8000 physical education teachers attended the online programme. The unique feature of this programme was that besides the regular session taken by Indian speakers, teachers from India got opportunity to hear and interact with international speakers from nearly 22 countries. The third batch of physical education and community coaching is in progress.


ICSSPE: What can the ICSSPE membership jointly do to help in this context?


Dr Usha Nair:       1. Share resources

                          2. Conduct courses

                          3. Get involved in projects

                          4. Conduct conferences