Sports As A Catalyst For Change

This is my first piece as a columnist on this e-sports paper, so it will delve a bit into academics. Because philosophy has something to say when it comes to so many aspects of life – science, art, religion, politics, medicine, and sports to mention just a few.
There are a lot of lessons people can learn from it. Though, philosophy teaches you more about how to think about issues than specific facts and ideas, this is ultimately much more valuable.
What sorts of lessons have you learned from studying philosophy and which do you believe were the most important lessons you learned?
What about optimism in sports? Muhammad Ali once said, “If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.” Funny, but true! If you are an optimist and like to look at the brighter side of life, then you have a greater chance for success. That takes us to imaginary views – If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it of course you can become it.
I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams. Or should I say I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door, or I’ll make a door. It’s obvious that something terrific will come no matter how dark the present is.
What about pessimism in sports? An optimist is one who expects a favourable outcome or dwells on hopeful aspects, while a pessimist is a person who expects the worst even with a good goal.
At this juncture, I will give us something to remember – that a pessimist sees danger in every opportunity, but an optimist sees opportunity in every danger.
So now, where do we stand as individuals? or State? Or Country?
And what are we doing about sports development? There is a great deal of philosophical substance in sports. Any sport, really. From team sports such as football and basketball to individual sports such as tennis, boxing, and mixed sport, it is easy to devise a plethora of philosophical issues that span across most philosophical branches.
Nelson Mandela advocated the power of sports to inspire people and to function as a catalyst for social change: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than what governments employ in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”
However, sport is linked with the technical world because sport itself is a technique. The enormous contrast between the athletes of Greece and those of Rome is well known.
For the Greeks, physical exercise was an ethic for developing freely and harmoniously the form and strength of the human body. While for the Romans, it was a technique for increasing the legionnaire’s efficiency. The Roman conception prevails today.
We can do it. Yes! we can. Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments, toward organisational objectives is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Yes! Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. Nigeria and Africa are blessed with various talents in sports.
Sports development is essential to youth development, let’s make it work. Let’s imbibe the culture to organise, develop, and re-structure our sports to be the best in the world. ” Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic”
Hope you enjoyed this edition? Join me again in a fortnight and till then, do some sports at least to keep your heart healthy. Thank you.

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Peter Ijeh,
ULc, BSs.

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