Sports and Community Building
Two men sat side by side in a cafe across a small African town.
One read a business journal while he sipped his lemonade.
The other typed away rapidly on his laptop. It seemed he was a writer, what with the cup of coffee he held in his hand by 5pm. Pretty late to be drinking coffee in various opinions.
Suddenly, they both hear the commentator’s voice announcing a match between Leicester City and Juventus. All attention shifts from previous work and all eyes are fixed on the television in the far right of the cafe.
Midway into the game, everyone is screaming at the TV; someone just got a red card in the game. Both men are standing side by side by now, chairs and tables forgotten.
They are on the same team. A goal is scored and they share high-fives and a couple of back pats.
They didn’t care about each other few hours ago. Now, they feel like “buddies from way back!”.They suddenly feel a sense of brotherhood.
This is one of the many effects of sports in our society today. Sports help build a community in no small measure.
“These are just two men” you say,”how do they help to build a community with their different lives?”
You must understand these men are a community in that they represent one!
They discovered a sense of belonging and a platform that encouraged a sense of mutuality in a few minutes.
It may be soccer, football, basketball, hockey, swimming, tennis or even wrestling. These sporting activities can actually be used to build a community.
Schools which are intentional in the slightest bit about sports create a reason for the community to grow.
Organizing these young men and women to form teams in relation to the sports they have interest in is coordination; a rare quality in certain communities.
Training them and appointing coaches gives them access to mentorship at an early stage. This is something that their parents would be glad to welcome.
Even though the school is able to make profits from sports through in-house events and donations, it has instilled virtues like perseverance and hard work in these young ones. They begin to understand from early in life that it’s not about the win, but the “Win” in other areas of their lives.
Small in-house teams are not left out in this business of building a healthier community. They start up for fun most times by a group of teens who need to expend all that built-up energy.
These teams later mature into big clubs that confidently compete on the international scene. These first started up to add value to their society and economy.
During the sporting events, there is always a need for volunteering as some form of community service to ensure that the event goes on without hitches.
Hold on for a second. Doesn’t this bear resemblance to community development?
Who are the volunteers?
A vast majority of them are the young people. Studies have shown that to be involved in volunteering and community support at a young age shows a high level of responsibility. They realize early enough the part they have to play to build a community.
Recent studies have also shown that physically active communities produce smarter kids!
This article lays so much emphasis on the youths and their development in relation to sports, because majority of the sporting games are young people-oriented.
There are couple of kids from poor families that receive sports scholarships oversees. This is a plus to the community as it now has a worthy representation elsewhere.
The people have a reason to gather joyfully; they have sporting games to watch together. There are “boos” and “yay”,”high-fives ” and a lot of laughter.
To build a community that finds a link between sports engagement and an internally generated revenue source, a lot of thinking individuals have to be actively involved. Communities that profits from sports have very logical course to drive this healthy trend.
It now goes beyond people of all ages grouping up together to have fun and exchange inherent values.
It gets to the point where great networking opportunities are achieved alongside slow and steady poverty eradication.
Innovation is needed any given society and sports help to build a community that is fairly open to it.
Nelson Mandela understood the strong bond that sports and a community share which is why he championed this course to build a community with the South African people.
Why, age-long rivalries have been forgiven at the game arenas!
It’s high time that community leaders of our time, begin to understand that in order to build their community, the people have to learn the speak the “language of sports” with about a 99.9% efficiency.
A wise man once said, “financial profits from sports is not the end of the game, it truly ends when the activity is used to build a community”.