My name is Mircea Cojocaru and I am the father of Alexia and Yuna and the husband of Ivy and I am honored to present you the story of Play to Think Smart.
Play to Think Smart opened in 2016 when I came to Hong Kong to be with my wife and start a family here. Immediately it was clear that this city’s education curriculum was heavily skewed towards rote learning with minimal emphasis placed on Physical development.
Being an athlete myself I wanted a sports program which provided child centered education, where every child was nurtured and their potential developed. I wanted a program where children have a voice, deeply think and their actions, ideas and thoughts are valued and acted upon. When searching for a program to fulfill these needs for my children, I quickly realized that there was no such offering in Hong Kong.
I wanted a community of lifelong learners where I could feel welcomed and where ideas are heard and acted upon.
As a lifelong learner in the field of business and sports coaching, I committed to start the journey of Play to Think Smart with the simple purpose of developing children’s ability to think deeply. I also wanted to promote skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and conflict management while actively combating bullying. I strove to create a program which could teach critical life skills, to improve behavior, to inspire positivity and lastly have a beneficial impact on a child’s academic performance.
In 2018 I have partnered with Brandon Ma and together we are striving every day to recruit coaches, parents and children who are dedicated and passionate about our mission and excited by the prospect of working within a diverse community. Today, I am grateful to say that we are now a community of over 500 child-centered parents and coaches who collectively share in this vision.
We want our children to develop holistically and therefore we equally celebrate the small wins that come from making mistakes and learning, as well as the big ones that come from mastering a skill. We constantly challenge our students to grow beyond their borders by tinkering with new ideas to find creative solutions that reflect the changing nature of our times. We at PTTS live this mantra, as we are constantly testing new approaches to our teaching as every child is unique.
We chose to run our cognitive development programs through sports because to us Physical Education and sports represent a significant part of life, not only for our health benefits but equally for their importance in cognitive & character development, building positive traits and camaraderie. We aim to offer the tools for life which extend beyond the courts we play on today.
We understand that parenting and coaching is a journey, not a destination and we value progress and not perfection. We work from a place of authenticity, integrity and responsibility for our words, actions and feelings and are generous in our assumptions about the intentions, words and actions of others. We seek to understand rather than judge. Through the people in our community, we hope to leave a legacy for a kinder, courageous and moral society.