Thursday 14 November 2019

The importance of sport.

There are few moments in life that can rival carrying one's national flag into an  international event in front of thousands of spectators - Marisa van der Westhuizen at IESF's 10th World Championships - 2018.
While it is always nice to accumulated certificates, medals, and trophies, and sometimes even prize money, that is not the most important lesson that doing a sport teaches you.

Yes, it is important to excel, to compete, and to push oneself to do one's best, which, in my mind is what sport is all about.

Sport is about learning to:

  • deal with all types of people (those with you agree and those with which you disagree), 
  • becoming self-disciplined, 
  • learning to focus on what is, and what is not important, 
  • developing an inner strength that will help form character, and 
  • learning to deal with structures and how to manipulate them.
It is like going to a swimming pool on a hot summer afternoon. On the one side there are lanes neatly stretched across the pool where swimmers train in a disciplined and organized manner. On the remaining two-thirds of the swimming pool, there are no lanes, and children splash around enjoying the summer afternoon.

But who is getting the most out of their time?

I would argue that those involved in the training session are as they are focussed on achieving their own  personal goals. The others are merely marking time and whiling away time in the pursuit of so-called fun.

However, it is  those that are involved in the process of being trained by a professional who will walk away with real life experiences with memories of accomplishment and cameraderie.

So too with esports. Those who treat esports as a sport are able to learn all those lessons that other sportspersons learn. Those who participate on a  recreational level, or outside of official structures, will grab fleeting moments of fun and in my opinion never achieve their true potential.

Official structires allow esports athletes to achieve honours (provincial and national colours) that athletes will take, and carry with them, for all of their lives.

Such accreditation has a  positive effect on the individual for as long as they live and helps create better citizens.

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