Guest Column: Sporty is the way to learn life lessons | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Guest Column: Sporty is the way to learn life lessons

Not all of us think this way, but I am utterly convinced of the need for each of us to indulge in at least one outdoor sport, irrespective of age or girth.

punjab Updated: Apr 17, 2016 16:36 IST
Vivek  Atray
Sport instils a sense of balance in youngsters and they learn that winning and losing are a part of life.
Sport instils a sense of balance in youngsters and they learn that winning and losing are a part of life.(ISTOCK)

Not all of us think this way, but I am utterly convinced of the need for each of us to indulge in at least one outdoor sport, irrespective of age or girth. Someone who sleeps early in order to play soccer with his mates in the wee hours of the next morning has my vote for sure! What’s more, he or she indubitably spends the rest of the day high on energy and enthusiasm.

A regular player will rue the morning when he has to miss a game due to rain or exigency. He will just not feel ‘right’ that day.

Not all of us think this way, but I am utterly convinced of the need for each of us to indulge in at least one outdoor sport, irrespective of age or girth. Someone who sleeps early in order to play soccer with his mates in the wee hours of the next morning has my vote for sure! What’s more, he or she indubitably spends the rest of the day high on energy and enthusiasm. A regular player will rue the morning when he has to miss a game due to rain or exigency. He will just not feel ‘right’ that day.

A popular social media quote goes like this- ‘No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch!’ Nothing could be truer. What matters is that we play or run or walk or whatever - no one expects us to become as brilliant as Bolt or Brathwaite! We can perform badly or ridiculously, the point is that we have to go out and play.

Golfers are aplenty these days, and they have the best of both the worlds. They don’t have to run at all and thus, their knees do not get tested or testy. Yet they play a sport that entails hours of outdoor entertainment and fitness. It is another matter that a golfer will tell a tennis player that tennis is supposedly not good for knees of the 40-plus brigade!

Tennis and badminton aficionados do not let such banter affect them though. I have played with 70-somethings who cock-a-snook at those who tell them to slow down. They are often more alacritous and agile than several 30-somethings.

As a nation we are not known to be sporty types, even though we have produced some great sportspersons and a majority of Indians are fitter than the peoples of many other countries. What we need to do in order to inculcate a habit of sports in the populace is to provide basic facilities to kids and allow them to play in school sports grounds after they close for the day.

Mr SD Bhambri, a former administrator, plays squash even today and he is 90 years of age! Whenever I ask him the secret of his fitness he says it is all in the mind and the body follows orders. Some of my friends had never participated in any sport, but took up running in their middle years and now run half-marathons.

Those who have never stepped on to a sporting arena, small or big, and have not smelt the grass after diving to stop a ball or something like that, have really missed something in their lives. The Chandigarh region is a prime example of how sports infrastructure can be created and preserved even in India. From hosting a Davis Cup semis to a couple of Cricket WC semis, to providing soccer, hockey, tennis, badminton, swimming and athletics, facilities in abundance, the city and the vicinity have what it takes to support a gentry that loves its sport.

Sport instils a sense of balance in youngsters and they learn that winning and losing are a part of life. There is also a need to inspire the younger lot to idolise the legends of various sporting fields. Thus it is not a bad idea to reminisce from time to time about heroes of yesteryears like Borg-McEnroe, GrafNavratilova, Botham-Kapil-ImranHadlee, or modern day greats like Messi, Ronaldo, among others. If their feats do not instil in our kids an urge to play outdoors, then nothing else will!