I am currently watching the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) TV show about sport – #SportingNation.
it is a wonderful insight into what Sport means, the facts, why people do it, the effect it has on the population, cultural impacts, etc.
I was lucky enough to play Semi Professional sport for 13 years and get paid for what I love to do. I have a tainted view on what sport is about.
However, what I do know is that sport is a vital part of society. The Challenge is getting the balance right between the Commercialisation of sport and the participation that sport was originally developed around.
All sports were developed as recreational activities to relieve the person or group from the stresses of work or to practice skills required in work. Unfortunately over the years, it has become more about watching. TV, at the Ground, on Social Media, and in doing so participation has dropped.
Kids (Or the iPhone Generation as the show just quoted) now days are more likely to drive everywhere, they are not allowed outside unsupervised, they are very good at computer activities (social media and games) and as a result their physical activities are greatly diminished.
Sport as they say is the great equaliser, unfortunately, that is only if people participate.
There is also the attitude now that you have to be good to participate. Why would you participate if you couldn’t win? Unfortunately when I was growing up it was more about playing rather than winning. So as a result less people are participating because they are not the BEST!
Now with the amount of money that is invested in the professional sports (and the players/competitors) there is an ever increasing push from parents when watching their kids to push them to be the best. As I have seen over the last 12 years watching / coaching / supervising my kids and the sports they have participated in – netball, nippers, Rugby League, Football, Touch, Cricket, Futsal – for many of the parents it is much more important than just competing. Their child needs to be the BEST. Their team needs to win – at all costs.
This is the part of sport that for me is hard to grasp, the parents, a lot of the coaches, the officials – it is not about participating any more, it is about WINNING and getting the advantage over the other team/club/participant.
This is so sad, there are many great things that come out of sport, there are great analogies that can then be translated into other areas of life – business, relationships, societal issues – however, the better parts of sport are slowly being eroded in the name of making money and winning.