The feeling of the blood rushing through your veins, the sweat dripping from your forehead, the nervous excitement inside you, screaming your lung out cheering for your team, the positive vibes exuding from the stands, are things that you can only get from sports. In this world that celebrates suppressing your feelings, pure, raw emotion might be a good thing. Sports has come a long way from its hunter-gatherer origins 3000 years ago to Olympics, 776 B.C to its modern-day counterpart. It has a way of bring people of different backgrounds together, under one banner, setting our differences aside. Its soothing effect is felt by all but acknowledged by less. South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup victory helped a nation heal from decades of Apartheid.
Playing sports has numerous benefits too. Introduction to them at a young age can help shift a child’s perspective from egocentric to being inclusive of people around them. As we know, more than 135 million Indians are obese. This calls for greater importance to be given to sports, now more than ever. They are also a cost-effective way to prevent diseases and to improve public health. Improved cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, increased life expectancy, and coronary health are just some of sports impact on physical health.
Various studies show that physical exercise and sports help in combating various mental illness like depression, ADHD and other anxiety/stress related disorders. Kayla Harrison, a gold medalist in Judo combated Depression and trauma through sports. Life skills like teamwork, commitment, discipline, maintaining self-esteem, self-confidence, acceptance of failures are learnt and applied here. I conclude by quoting the Olympic gold medalist, Julie Foudy, “Sports not only build better athletes but also better people”.