Sport is a way to include everyoneIrina Bokova
Recall the celebration of Sachin Tendulkar scoring the 100th century, ruing that fraction of a second delay by PT Usha denying her an Olympic medal or Indians glued to visual media platforms to see if Sindhu would win a gold medal in the Olympics. The whole country associate with the success of these individuals. It enhances pride and brings satisfaction and gives strength to lead their lives in whatever domains they are or even those who stay home and manage homes. Come evening, in every corner of even a small village, you find children coming out with improvised gadgets to play. Though regrettably, societies have forgotten to practice the traditional games, every parent aspires their children to become a Sachin Tendulkar, PT Usha, or Sindhu. Several parents spend a considerable amount of resources, both time and financial, to allow their children to do well in sports. Sport is a great equalizer, bring the people in the community together. The pride associated with doing well brings discipline to the individual. Sport and physical activity are essential to staying fit and healthy. Physical activity improves mental health, helps beat negative thoughts, lowers stress and depression, and strengthens the immune system.
“The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace” is an annual celebration. Celebrating the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding. 6 April was declared the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the UN, recalling the beginning of modern Olympic Games in 1896, in Athens, Greece. It is celebrated since 2014. Sports is an “important enabler” of sustainable development, reflected in its inclusion in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
WHO reports that physical inactivity leads every year to an estimated 3.2 million deaths. Resorting to sports is a way to combat sedentary lifestyles. Through our unique individual abilities and collective power, we can share creative ways to improve our health and wellbeing. Participation in sports is a passion shared by women and men across the world. It is a force for physical wellbeing and social empowerment.
“Sport can cross boundaries, defy stereotypes, improve our physical and emotional health, and inspire hope across nations, but we will only be able to get back to this if we recover better and help end the pandemic… Sporting analogies, such as ‘achieving success through teamwork, and using a level playing field can also be incorporated to deliver the important equity and resilience messaging, and sports personalities and organisations can help promote. Teamwork is essential to building back better. So, let us help end the pandemic by ensuring everyone is protected from COVID-19,” says the United Nations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for all of us, to gather as friends, for teams to compete, and fans to cheer. Now more than ever, time to act as a team to defeat the pandemic. There are several unique, inspiring attempts like the one undertaken by Naik Velu from the Indian army, who has undertaken a cross-country run from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to promote harmony.
The pursuit of human beings is focused on achieving development and, through it attaining peace. Participation, practising, cheering of events associated with sports is a critical way to achieve the same. The joy and happiness one gets seeing the success of the sportsperson achieving success reflects that we are all connected.
Let us resolve to play, exercise, and ensure wellbeing.