Sports: The Key to a Virtuous Life
The year was 1947. As a young boy, one of six siblings growing up in Lahore, I witnessed the churn of historic events which lead to India’s Partition. It was during this difficult time; I discovered my ability to adapt and flourish when my family was forced to leave their home in Lahore and move to Patiala. Being displaced into a new space, a new home and a whole new life, it was hockey, the sport which provided me with both aid and identity. Being part of the hockey team at school and college served as a solid platform that launched my career.
When I say that sport plays a crucial role in our lives, it goes beyond words. I have seen its impact on the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of those around me. It helps to build character, shape behaviour and develop personality. Learning a sport hones leadership skills, instils discipline and helps an individual establish life goals.
My prominence in the field of hockey began from leading the college hockey team in 1948 to being chosen for the Indian team in 1950. I have won against the best all-star teams, and this was not through plain luck, but through discipline and grit, which is the true essence of playing a sport with your whole heart.
Making sports the bedrock of a life well-lived starts early on. In the current landscape, I see the virtues embedded in sports activities not receiving the attention they deserve. Recognizing physical fitness as the key to holistic growth and wellbeing of children is imperative in rural and urban settings.
Engaging in sports fosters qualities such as discipline, determination, and self-motivation. Athletes learn the value of setting goals and working hard to achieve them. They develop a strong work ethic and learn to persevere through challenges and setbacks.
The Need of the Hour
Sports also teach individuals the importance of honesty, and integrity. Athletes are held accountable for their actions, and the rules and regulations of sports promote a sense of responsibility and respect for others. By participating in sports, individuals learn to be gracious in victory and resilient in defeat.
Today, after 76 years of independence, India’s sports system remains distant from an ideal state. This concern echoes across societies and institutes, where a lack of comprehensive planning for the development of sports for our young people persists. The government, too, bears responsibility for not prioritizing the crucial aspects of health and wellbeing through sports.
Sports activities within government schools and colleges often fall short of the desired standard. While the government introduces schemes to promote sports and games, enhance infrastructure in rural schools, and mobilize resources, the results often seem elusive.
Understanding that playing a sport is the secret to happiness underscores the importance of specialized coaching. Sports aids to harness energy and impart valuable life wisdom, guiding us on the path to longevity and a healthy life.
In the current scenario, where we grapple with our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, the synergy of virtues through sports is paramount. At Roundglass Sports we are bridging this gap by fostering a love for sports across villages in Punjab, with our grassroot development centers, where young boys and girls find their footing into the world of sport, and through this learning to lead a balanced life.
As I see young boys and girls taking time out to spend time on the field, playing football or hockey it reminds me of my first time of the field. The sense of freedom and hope that sportsmanship brings needs to be shared and nurtured for our future generations.