Games which are played outside in the open air are generally known as ‘sports’. These are of various kinds. In the villages such games as Kabaddi. Gilli Danda and Kho-Kho are still popular. But, with the introduction of a Western type of education, these ancient games are steadily going out of use, especially in our growing towns and cities. Cricket, football, lawn tennis, Volleyball, and badminton are the most common form of sports these days in our schools and colleges.
Sports are of great importance in the development of the body as well as the formation of character. It teaches us discipline, unity, and comradeship. In European countries, sports are regarded as essential part of the educational system. But in India so much interest in sports not shown due to our lack of finance, proper training, and a certain want of enthusiasm in the authorities. The poor showing of our players in the Asian Games has proved the inability our sports authorities to take proper care of our players.
In Spite of these disadvantages, a steadily growing interest is being shown by our youth in the present age and this is as it should be. It is a well-known fact that outdoor sports of some sort or the other are necessary for the preservation of our health. To keep the body fit and healthy, some exercise is absolutely essential. Without some exercise of out limbs, diseases creep in our bodily system sooner or later.
Outdoor games offer this facility of exercises and make the body healthy and strong and capable of enduring hard-slips. Moreover, these games being played in the open, we are able to breathe fresh and pure air which is so vital to the maintenance of our health. No indoor game presents such facility. But, after all, both these proverbs are rather cynical. They both assume that no master can be great in private as well as in public
The need of sports:
Sports improve not only our health but go a long in the formation of our character. A young man who takes a regular interest in some sports or other remains always cheerful and in good humor. He is open-hearted and generous and narrowness of mind is unknown to him. Further, as an outdoor game has to be played under the leadership of captain when has to be fully obeyed in all matters relating to the game, a sportsman learns the spirit of obedience and discipline.
He can achieve very little in his individual capacity in the game and so he has to play in combination with other players. This teaches the value of unity and combined action. A common bond of fellowship grows up between a sportsman and his comrades. Further, to form a good team and to organize it requires a great amount of tact, intelligence, and organizing capacity. Thus by taking part in sports one is likely to develop his character to a high level.
But it is not enough to take part in sports. One has to develop a true spirit of sportsmanship. A true sportsman plays the game for the sake of joy he gets in it and not for victory alone. We should neither be overjoyed at a victory nor become sad and depressed at a defeat. A noted French sports critic has laid down the following qualities of a true sportsman: (1) He plays the game for its own sake. (2) He carries out his captain’s order without question or criticism. (3) He accepts the umpire’s decision absolutely. (4) He wins without pride and loses without groaning. (5) He would rather lose than do anything unfair.
A true sportsman is always keen to win and bring fame to his team, as also to himself as a part of it. Yet he will never lose his temper even if his opponent goes on winning point after point. He will go on playing the game with the same enthusiasm and zeal with which he began. Lastly, a true sportsman is known by the way he takes defeat. He loses with a smile. The deplorable outburst against our Cricket captain, Wadekar after the defeat of India’s team in her tests against England, shows the lack of the spirit of true sportsmanship in our country. A true sportsman is he who can take a beating with a smile and congratulate his opponent when the game is over. Winning or losing, he is always a good sport.