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Focus: Not enough sports

The fact that today’s children are not getting enough outdoor fun is not a secret. But is this creating more problems than just poor health? Is it affecting their personalities, mental abilities and attitude towards life? While people often complain about difficult weather conditions and a lack of facilities, are these reasons good enough?

  • Ramachandran NairManager living in Ruwi, OmanImage Credit:
  • Rohan Kapur, Studentliving in SharjahImage Credit:
  • Sandhya Shetty Product manager working in DubaiImage Credit:
  • Shivshankar K. T. Corporate Sales Managerliving in SharjahImage Credit:
Gulf News

15:33 Gulf News: By not going out to play, today’s generation is unable to develop the competitive spirit within them.

15:36 Shivshankar K.T.: The main problem is that children are confined within the four walls of the house most of the time. They are forced to be alone and have restrictions on going out to play. This will definitely have an adverse effect on their behaviour. We cannot blame them alone for the lack of a competitive spirit.

15:36 Ramachandran Nair: I agree. People, in general, are somewhat addicted to indoor activities because it has more flexibility and can be controlled to a great extent. Technology could be one reason for this but it has a serious health impact. Here, time is also a culprit, as many people find it difficult to spend time with family.

15:39 Rohan Kapur: Over-pampering can also be the cause of this lack of competitive spirit, which in turn fosters shyness and makes children extremely dull and reticent.

15:40 Gulf News: Today’s generation has a weaker personality because of a lack of exposure.

15:41 Shivshankar K.T.: Exposure is getting diverted to latest technologies and instead of going out to play the new generation is getting addicted to computers and video games. There is no time for personality development. Smartness is slowly disappearing as the interaction or mingling with others has reached a minimum.

15:43 Sandhya Shetty: Yes, since they are not exposed to life outside as much as we were, they are somewhat cushioned and overprotected. I won’t call it having a weaker personality, it is just that we are so protective of them that we look for excuses such as “it is hot so don’t walk outside”. How can you expect your child to get out of the cocoon if you don’t want it? As a result, I won’t be surprised if there is an alarming rate of child obesity.

15:44 Ramachandran Nair: Plenty of opportunities exist for people to develop themselves. However, how effectively these opportunities are utilised is the question. It can be achieved to a great level, if one is prepared to spend their time wisely. At the same time they should receive moral support from all corners.

15:49 Sandhya Shetty: I have always encouraged play time out of the house. Honestly, it helps build better relationships with children from other religions and nationalities. Our children need to know how tough life can be outside their homes. It definitely is a cause for concern if children are not exposed to sports in some form or the other. I completely agree that the more children are exposed to outside life, the tougher and smarter they are going to be. I always advocate and practise this with my children.

15:54 Rohan Kapur: I agree, because earlier children’s tougher personality pointed to their amazing tolerance, competitive spirit and of course, their physical and mental strength. Usually I and my friends are always inside the class during recess but occasionally we got out to play. But we also have our physical education period once a week, in which we always play football, basketball or cricket (for which we crave throughout the week) in our amazing green field. We also have two swimming periods in a week.

15:58 Sandhya Shetty: What I have noticed in today’s generation is that they are more of cry babies because like I said they compete with the objective to win and since everyone cannot be a winner, they take failure as something negative. While we were growing up things were different. We probably had bruises all over because of a fall or another and our parents never made a hue and cry over it.

15:59 Shivshankar K.T.: Back in our time, we were out to play the moment we reached home from school. We would really sweat it out and I think that helped us in maintaining our health.

16:01 Gulf News: Not experiencing the psychological ups and downs of sport has made young adults whiney and paranoid about the little things in life.

16:03 Rohan Kapur: I agree that children are overly sensitive and the slightest argument or the smallest hint of failure pushes them to tears.

16:03 Ramachandran Nair: Young people want to do so many things in a short span of time, but the time they invest to achieve a desired result is comparatively less, due to other priorities and commitments. Their concerns are not always reasonable, but it affects their psychological growth in multiple ways. Hard work is behind every success, but to realise this fact in today’s generation takes little more time than expected.

16:03 Shivshankar K.T.: The importance of any sport is that it will help you to become mentally strong. When you are in the game your mind cannot be idle. It is when your mind becomes idle that people become whiney and paranoid.

16:04 Sandhya Shetty: I completely agree. By giving them a sheltered, cocooned environment at home we are depriving them from preparing for a more competitive tommorrow. I always talk about my childhood games. I am what I am because of the way my upbringing was. Sadly, I cannot give the same life to my children.

16:08 Rohan Kapur: Team spirit is one of the most important aspects of actively participating in different sports and now because children are confined to their own homes, they cannot interact and if they really learn to withstand failure in small games it can help them immensely in the long run. The talent in children these days is being compressed because of them being really lazy and because parents encourage them not to play.

- Compiled by Huda Tabrez/Community Web Editor


Do you think a lack of sports hinders personality development?

Yes 84%

No 16%


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