The Role of Community Sports in building Community Capacity: Karan Bhalla, Director, Sports Maidan
Sports’ most technical aspect is that it helps you shape your personality and is a contributor to forming your identity writes Karan Bhalla.
Community Sports is an integral part of life. Given enthusiasm attached with sports around the world, it can be said that sports are all about bringing the community together. However, the ongoing pandemic has dampened the growth of the sports industry impacting both the sports players and the viewers. As the effects of COVID-19 continue to flow through the world’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions, and the sports ecosystem is no different.
The impact of the pandemic has also been seen by community sports with people missing training sessions, kids staying back home, and community sports complexes losing on to the memberships during the nationwide lockdown until very recently. In this scenario, governments guidelines to allow community sports complexes is like a breath of fresh air and presents a perfect opportunity to relook at the significant role of community sports in building community at such a challenging time.
While we all have our favorite sports that we like to indulge in, but sports is so much more than just a passion to pursue. Sports’ most technical aspect is that it helps you shape your personality and is definitely a contributor to forming your identity. A person who plays sports on a regular basis benefit from
Ø A toned body and muscles with strong and healthy bones
Ø staying active physically with better reflexes and being swift. It also reduces chances of being obese thereby avoiding undesired ailments.
Ø reducing levels of stress and anxiety and adding mental toughness.
In addition to these, sports also inculcate some heathy practices in the overall life of a person. Such as:
Ø Being disciplined.
Ø Developing value system.
Ø Sense of friendliness.
Ø Feeling of togetherness thereby developing team spirit and mutual cooperation.
Ø Developing leadership quality.
Ø Achieving better output in every situation.
And all this put together, is an essential contributor to becoming a better human being. In order to progress further, the benefits of sports should be reaped by all and this is where the concept of community sports and community capacity building becomes relevant. Sports are acceptable to all and become necessary to promote a social networking in the community. The feelings get mutual, a sense of belongingness begins and team work starts for happy times together. The saying, “Birds of the same feather, flock together”. It is clearly seen with the like minded people and the correct example can be drawn from GODS (Group of Delhi Superbikers). Together the group gets motivated and is able to achieve higher level of self-esteem, a prominent situation as described in Human Behavior’s theory of Management Guru, Maslow in his theory on hierarchy of needs. As the process of enhancement starts to roll, the individuals in the groups start making likewise choices to transform into desired actions and consequent results. Economic growth gets propelled.
There are clear indications on the price paid for sporting activities. In India, it is widely seen/experienced that there are layers based on affordability/economic/financial standings among groups/communities. Many a time, good talent does not get the right recognition. Sports Academies, Government or private, must initiate periodic talent hunt and nurture individuals to grow. Removal of price becomes necessary and such initiatives in the form of scholarships/reduced fee surely can have penetrating effect. Around the globe, there are clear evidences of sport being a perfect catalyst for community development but nothing much is known about the role of sport as a system/mechanism for building community capacity.
It is, therefore, important to build a community that is strong and attempts to make an impact in member’s life for happiness. Active groups of sports and other curricula will gain recognition in society and boost their levels of self-esteem and worth. However, it is also seen that at times, such strong groups get political and a threat to the nicer side of community/society in the rapidly changing environment for petty gains.
We, the community of sports, must attempt to clear anomalies and be in a society/community where all hold our head high, have self-belief, feeling of belongingness, be disciplined and motivated besides being self-esteemed, happy healthy. This construction can be achieved only through various sports conducted by us with a professional approach to build a strong community for sports built around us. Especially at a time when the society needs to win together, do whatever they could to survive these unprecedented times and come out stronger.
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