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Focus: Celebrating sport

Why sporting achievements are not given the importance they deserve?

  • Image Credit: Dana A. Shams ©Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied

From creating a game plan to executing it to perfection; from building physical skills to developing mental tenacity; from staying grounded after a win to staying hopeful after a defeat — sport is probably the greatest celebration of the human spirit. Yet, ever so often, they get dismissed as ‘leisure activities’ or worst still — entertainment. The amount of physical and mental strength needed to excel in any sport is immense but somehow sport is often considered secondary in a society focused on measuring life’s achievements on a monetary basis. This week, readers debate why sporting achievements are not given the importance they deserve. Share your thoughts on the topic by posting a comment on our Facebook page ‘Gulf News Al Nisr Publishing UAE’ or tell us at

14:39 Gulf News: The reason most sporting achievements are not understood is because people think sport is an option for people who are dumb.

14:43 Ramachandran Nair: Absolutely not. This cannot be considered and measured purely based on one’s ability. Sport is an art like any other. The reason for not being understood by the public may be because of the way in which it is conveyed.

14:44 Disha Bobby: I do not agree because people like Roger Federer, Sachin Tendulkar or the Williams sisters are intelligent. A healthy body is perfect for a healthy mind.

14:45 Nazia Irfan: In our society, parents only encourage children to join sports events that take place in school. If it gets one step bigger — if they get selected for inter-school competitions — the first question they would ask is, “Will you be missing classes?”

14:50 Gulf News: The education system is failing to realise that sports is often the application of academics.

14:50 Lily Guna: Most parents want their children to have a white collar job. Sport is not a subject that is been taken seriously in schools — it is just dedicated one class per week. Going to school is about learning about health and wellbeing and making physical education fun and enjoyable for everyone should be the first step.

14:51 Richa Rabecca: I am a basketball player. I am proud to say how my coaching has changed my attitude. We learn values like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, sacrifice and accountability. Television, which may be the most influential tool in the lives of young adults, does not show enough of these qualities, nor is it on the internet or radio.

14:52 Maheen Abbas: All our education systems claim to be the best but they are not best in utilising students as tools to continue driving the market forward, which ultimately becomes a nation. We search across countries to find the best people for office jobs, I think we should screen players, athletes and sportsmen in the same way, too!

14:53 Salim Mohammad: The issue of financial problems is also a reason why people are disinterested in sport and tempt children to not focus on them.

14:54 Gautham Manoj: There are many talented children in different sports in many schools. The problem is that they go unnoticed due to ignorance of sports in schools. These unnoticed talents could be the heroes of their nation if given proper attention.

14:56 Gulf News: Ignorance of the subtleties of playing a sport is the reason most people are arrogant about not playing it.

14:58 Aisha Naseem: The ones who are dismissive about the concept are usually those who have either seen the bad side to it or haven’t really given it a try. The subtleties involved in playing a sport can be discovered or understood only after you have played a sport. All that is needed is the effort to step up.

15:00 Ishfaq Mir: When comparing an academic achievement with a sporting achievement, I think very few parents would actually prefer the sporting one seriously. I myself have had such an experience. My daughter is good in academics but not so good in sports, while my son is way ahead of her in sports, but is fair in academics. Yet, when both show me their achievements; I’m inclined towards appreciating my daughter’s academic performance more than the sports achievements of my son, however much I try otherwise!

15:05 Lodhi Azmat Allah: Academic achievement and sports achievement are two different sides of a coin and hold their own importance. A degree holder may achieve in academics but even a non-literate person can secure achievements in sports. So, academic and sports are two different goals.

15:06 Gulf News: The reason sporting events draw such huge crowds is because sports caters to our primal instincts.

15:10 Eisha Gupta: That’s an interesting take and — to be honest — I’ve never really thought about it. I think research can probably shine a light on the matter. I think that it is national pride that makes us so energetic when it comes to sporting events.

15:11 Sunil Roy: To an extent it is true. Sport is more a passion for many people and there are times when the passion overrides common sense. During such times, it takes over as a primal instinct. This is seen only in certain sports and only when certain teams are involved. There are lots of other games like chess, golf or gymnastics where such primal instincts are not manifested.

15:13 Nazia Irfan: I agree. Defeating someone in a sport event gives the same amount of happiness, since you are not allowed to fight face to face or hit someone.

15:20 Salim Mohammad: Sport motivates an individual to strive for success and deliver the best he can. It encourages us to be more strong mentally, physically and also makes us more independent. Life is all about taking risks to become successful.


Fact Box

People are interested because if people are rooting for a country or team, they feel part of the team. They even end up fighting or doing crazy things over their performance.”
Noel Garcia, Abu Dhabi

The country spends a lot on sport, especially football here. They are supporting them to give their best. I’ve seen so many people spend time following and supporting players.”
Aisha Yaqoob Al Kahdar, Dubai

The first reaction people have is that it is the players’ natural abilities — they don’t have to try, which is not entirely true. It takes an awful lot of hard work and effort.”
Paul Sherlock, Sharjah


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