What can we do to bring about CHANGE in the way we promote sports and encourage leisure activities?

Quite a lot, actually. From changing the way we foster sports to tweaking the ways in which we perceive our sportspersons, there are many things that we can work on, right from the time we are at school. Here are five such aspects that we can change, along with activities to make you dwell further on these subjects….

There’s more than one sport

Ask anyone who their favourite sports star is and chances are that the answer will be a cricketer. For a country of over a billion, our perspective seems to be rather limited when it comes to sport, as most of us take to just cricket.

From badminton to tennis, hockey to football, athletics and many others, India has a presence in a wide range of sports other than cricket. What’s more, we have even had great performances in recent times in a number of these sports.

While backing our cricketers and following the sport religiously does no harm, it shouldn’t come at the cost of other sportsperson losing out on our backing. Fans play a central part in performances and the support that we can offer might even enhance how they fare on the day.

It is important to go out and show the support, filling the stadiums and pouring messages of love and support online. While we are already getting better at it and giving more and more attention to those playing other sports, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If we start doing this, then there will be more takers for other sports as well. And when that happens, we might stop looking at whether we have got on the medals tally at the Olympics, and rather look at where exactly we are on the table.

Win or lose, back your stars

We live in an age when there are extremes of emotions all the time. We celebrate our stars and even hero-worship them when they produce favourable results. When these very stars are at the receiving end of heavy defeats, we rubbish them and question their intent.

Even though this has been something that has been around almost all the time, it is now more vitriolic in the virtual world, where everyone’s opinions can easily be amplified. Not even in public offices is the public scrutiny so harsh at times, making the position of sportspersons really difficult at times.

While many stars say that they are inside their own bubble and aren’t affected by stringent criticism that is sometimes endless, it is our responsibility as fans to indulge in our following in a more effective manner. There is no need to go overboard with our praise, nor is it necessary to tarnish reputations when our country’s representatives fail at the first hurdles.

Brewing hate does a lot of harm, not just for the one at the receiving end, but to the sport as a whole. It is important to remember that those representing a country are the finest in their sport in their nation and they would likely want to win, as much if not more, than the fans following the sport.

It might be easy to forget that in the end, elite athletes and sportspersons are also humans. Even though many high-profile sportspersons have voluntarily come out with their mental health issues in recent years, fans continue to associate their stars with superhuman performance all the time. While this creates a lot of euphoria, it also pushes fans to unruly behaviour when their expectations aren’t met.

As fans, it is necessary that we change our perspectives and back our stars throughout, regardless of the results. We all want the team we support and the individual representing our country to win all the time. But we also know that there can be only one winner in any tournament as opposed to many losers. It is therefore pivotal that we back our stars during their setbacks, as much as we cherish their wins like our own.

Picture Credit : Google 

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