I read an article where recently crowned world badminton champion, P. V. Sindhu said that she has to find new strategies every time she plays. Sports stars like Sindhu indirectly tell us that playing a sport gives many life lessons along the way –
- Sports teaches us to give our best: To attain a level of expertise requires hard work. The good part of sports is that one can see hard work pay off. So, it is motivating to try harder and give our best.
- Self-discipline:Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in one of his interviews said that the discipline that M S Dhoni and Virat Kohli have inspired him. Discipline here means maintaining a rigorous regimen of practice even after having tasted success.
- Decision-making: There are times when you have to make a decision while that impacts others around you, maybe an entire nation. Thinking from each one’s perspective is a good thumb rule to start with.
- Team-building: A sports team requires a lot of time and energy dedicated to building a culture which leads to success. The most effective way to teach conflict resolution and team building is to instil those qualities in a tangible way – by placing otherwise ‘conflicting’ identities on the same sports team and training them to work together.
- Sense of Unity:Sports bring diverse people together. Remember the movie Chak De India where Shah Rukh Khan or Vijay in Bigil inspires players to see themselves as one team? Sports instil a sense of belonging and identity, bringing out the best in people.
How are these qualities different to that of what we apply to life? Sports play a pivotal role in developing an all-round personality. The onus of encouraging youngsters to take up sports seriously is on all stakeholders of society. An important aspect here is that children from educated and middle-class backgrounds have at least some exposure and are able to seek avenues to build upon this.
What about people who aren’t exposed to this or have an opportunity? Varun Arakattalai was formed to bridge this gap.
Our objective is to use sports as an instrument to promote health, education and empowerment. In pursuit of this objective, we organize sporting events for the Chennai community. With the faith that people have shown in us, we have been inspired to discuss and bring about solutions to social issues faced by people in the area as well.
I believe for individuals, they enhance personal abilities, general health, and self- knowledge. On the national level, they contribute to economic and social growth, improve public health, and bring different communities together. And on the global level, sport and physical education have a long-lasting positive impact on development, public health, peace, and the sustainable management of the environment. We are now living in times of great uncertainty. Therefore, it should be everybody’s ambition to contribute to peace, freedom and stability.
We all have a chance to do better. We all have a role to play.