My Life and My Sport

Yesterday’s topic of Satyamevjayate show was Sports, “how a ball can change the world“. Being a sportsman myself, I could very well connect with the discussions and opinions that came up during the show.

The show discussed and highlighted some very encouraging and motivating examples of sports persons coming from nowhere and making it big all by themselves just because of sheer hard work and dedication. I salute to all those hard working sports persons who have fought hard and brought our country pride.

The problem of Sports Authority, Sports Infrastructure, etc (in short: Lack of Support from the Government of India) was also highlighted. Sports persons are very dedicated and religious about their sports, what breaks most of the talented ones who reach a good level is no support from the Sports Authority, Government of India. (just when Sports Authority should be doing exactly that). There is an urgent need of a well structured sports law empowering sports persons to be at the position in sports authority where they can bring about reforms and give an uplift to sports in India. It isn’t that a person without a sports background who understands the working of the system and is well aware about sports can’t be at a high position in Sports Authority, but a someone who has been a sports person himself and has some sense of working of the system would be a better fit at that position. It is because his concerns, opinions and ideas will speak for the sports persons of our country. He will be able to empathize and connect better. His conscience will not allow him to misuse money. He won’t organize trips for politicians to go major tournaments instead of sponsoring a capable sports persons to go play a tournament abroad. He will make sure deserving athletes get what they deserve instead of embarrassment.  (I can bring in a few more examples, but they depress me and I believe the point is made).

There is so much to learn from China here. Their Sports Development Model can be a great reference.

The show highlighted and discussed some great initiatives like the Magic Bus initiative. Which are trying to bring about a change in the lives of people through sports. It was heartening to see so many organizations doing great work and what they have been able to achieve is also out of this world.

It was so great to see the show reflect the idea that “Sports has the power to change lives, unite people, narrow down differences and bring about an air of positivity altogether”. A beautiful example of the same is depicted in the Movie: Invictus, which I loved for this very reason. How Nelson Mandela encouraged and motivated team and how South Africa emerged as winners in the 1995 Rugby World bringing about a whole economic uplift in the apartheid-torn land. Such is the power of Sports.

I keep myself involved with playing Tennis (mostly or some other sports/fitness/gym/going for a run, some Sports activity). It makes me feel good, helps me distress and makes me feel alive. Tennis has been an integral part of my life, I have spent so many years playing tennis, but I have sometimes wondered as well; what to say to people who might ask me, what makes me so passionate about sports (tennis)? Running for a ball to hit it across the net over and over again? Doesn’t it sound stupid?

Well, it doesn’t sound stupid at all. I read this phrase in the book, “Most and More” in the similar context and it struck me well; “WHEN THE LOWER EXCITES THE HIGHER DELIGHTS”. The feeling of running for the ball, hitting a winner, winning the point after so much effort is un-explainable. The ones who have experienced will understand, others might just wonder. Here “Lower” is used to refer to the muscular effort being put up by our legs and “Higher” for the mind. The point is that if you want to “Delight” the higher you will have to put in effort and it does make a lot of sense.

Okay, this was a bit too deep into “why like tennis or any sport”, but having it in mind, I wanted to put it out.

However, its way more simpler to count so many advantages sports can give us otherwise as well. Sports has given me so much, what I am today, the way I look at things, handle things, fight situations. Hard-work, passion, discipline, how to be a team-player, how to lead, how to accept a loss and how to mange a win. Aren’t these attributes that are so very important in our life whatever we might be doing? These are the parameters that define us. Sports helped me learn all of this and I will always cherish that.

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Tennis For Life

Another very important thing is being healthy and fit. In this world where nothing can be taken for granted and nothing can be sure of, when I am not even sure of what I will end up doing 5 years down the line, I am just sure about one thing, that I am going to remain fit for the rest of my life. I am ready to do whatever it takes. Sports allows us to feel good about our health, and believe me, it might not sound such a big deal when we are in our twenties, but life is too long, wait and watch. We underestimate health, neglect it and it hits us back badly. Having invested time in sports, and with an ability to continue to do so, I can proudly say I am better off when compared on the basis of health with others. Of course I have to continue to keep investing time in sports and fitness, but that is easier for me now, having been developed an interest and liking for it.

Having said all this, there is another very important and interesting issue to discuss and understand. “The way people perceive and interpret sports as a activity/domain/institution.” Like when we compare education as an institution and sports as an institution, do we weigh both equally?

In a post show Q/A session, a lady asked Amir that they want their son to go play and spend time in sports, but considering the high competition in studies, he is not able to find time. This thought process tells us that more importance is being given to studies over sports.

I believe education and sports need to be weighed equal. We need to change the perception towards sports, spending time in sports is a great investment. I believe I have stated enough reasons above.

When I have to decide between going for a session of tennis/gym/fitness/run vs doing an assignment, I don’t decide giving superiority to assignment. There are priorities, of course, but sports is a part of my grooming and well being. It does get the time it deserves. I know how much tennis has given me, how much it contributes in what I am today as a person. It has been an equally, or maybe more important of a learning experience for me than going to school has been.

LETS PLAY, LETS CHANGE THE WORLD 🙂  If you believe sports has the power, start investing time in sports (if you don’t yet), spread the word, tell you story of how sports helped you to become who you are and inspire others.

#LetsPlayIndia #MumkinHai #SportsForChange #ABallCanChangeYourLife

Support the MumkinHai campaign of Satyamevjayate, which is trying to bring Sports Law into Practice: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/a-ball-can-change-the-world/whyyouvote.aspx Read inspiring stories collected by Satyavemjayate Team: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/a-ball-can-change-the-world/episode-1allrecomends.aspx

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