Swinging by

Yesterday, I sat in a kid’s park, on one of the swings overlooking the entire play area. The park was big enough to have swings, slides and merry-go rounds over the sand filled pits. While I sat there, I reminisced about all the hours I had spent in one such park as a kid. My personal favorite was probably the monkey bars, where you’ve got to hang on to bars which were parallel to each other, and one has to move from one end to the other. This was my first exposure to any kind of sport.

The times I spent in those play areas have always filled me with immense joy. The kind of joy that’s pure and innocent in its form. I categorize this play-area experience under sport because sports has always given me a similar kind of pleasure.

As I sat on the swing, all the memories of joy and disappointment came rushing back.
Gully cricket with wickets drawn on the wall; everyone running behind a single football; school cricket; having a running race randomly whenever; running my first 400m race in-front of a crowd cheering you on; tense moments in chess when I knew I was screwed; badminton under the street lamps; lagori; kunte-belle; and so much more.
All these moments always taught me something valuable. They taught me how to handle losing, to be or not to be smug after a win, to respect hard work and passion, to accept shortcomings and make up for them in other ways.

“To learn is the eternal quest of life”

Teachers play one of the most vital roles in sport and in life. There are teachers who give you knowledge and teachers who give you motivation. In general, they are known as coaches and role models respectively.

Coaching, much like other teaching professions, is underrated in our country. World-class coaches nurture young kids into world beaters. There is a big vacuum of world-class coaches in this country at the grassroots level (not considering the religion, that is Cricket). Role models are everywhere with the emergence of social media and greater sports coverage. They play a key role in showing the aspiring sportsmen the areas where they are lacking.

The television and media has made heroes out of hard-working sportsmen and these stories of these heroic men and women becomes a source of inspiration for us all for a brief moment in time. (Dipa Karmakar- A lesson in bravery.) We idolize them and their commitment, hard work and morals. Sports media coverage has played it’s part in acting as a unique distraction to the common man from his/her day-to-day functioning to bring out passion and liven up his/her day.

“Sports has this habit of making things colourful on a dull lifeless day.”

The sense of competition involved in sports is one of the reasons why we follow few teams and athletes so religiously. Winning and losing is part of the game, sure. But, if both teams didn’t try to win then the point of sports is lost. That is what sportsmanship is all about. You have to try to work hard and win, but should you fail, you are expected to accept defeat graciously and congratulate the winner for being better.

Take a break from your busy lives. Forget your worries just for a moment. Indulge in the world of sports.

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