The benefits of sport
21 July 2019 | Columns
I have practiced a number of sport codes including karate, golf, chess, soccer, tennis, table tennis and boxing over the years.
There are a lot of advantages that sport offers.
Sport helps us physically. It provides us with the necessary exercise the body needs to be fit and inevitably allows one to live a healthy lifestyle.
According to parents.com, practicing sport on a regular basis can even help prevent several diseases like cancer.
A person who takes part in sport can easily control their weight as the number of calories which they take in usually get converted to energy during the sport activity instead of fat. A lower weight is also an advantage when you are trying to avoid diabetes. Low blood sugar levels are also a result of being active in sport as muscles take up more glucose and use it for energy.
Sport teaches people to work as a team. Many sport codes require team work and every team member has a role to play which helps to reach an overall goal. This also teaches team members to serve one another as their roles become critical for others in the team to also excel.
For example, in football defenders are responsible for taking away any threat which the opposition attack carries towards their goalkeeper and their level of play directly impacts the goalkeeper. Likewise, for midfielders, their level of distribution and assistance towards the strikers allows the team to score goals and eventually win the match. This also helps to teach members problem solving skills which they can even use in real life.
Sport teaches discipline and responsibility. There are several rules and regulations for every sport code and when any of these rules are not followed, a violation is given against an athlete. In some cases like in football or rugby, players are given red cards or sin binned for very dangerous play. Every player then feels a sense of responsibility as they know that the way they conduct themselves on the pitch effects the overall result of the team at the end of the match.
Nothing beats the feeling of winning. So sport has an impact also on your emotional well-being as the feeling of euphoria comes along with victories in sport. Experts say that exercise releases beta-endorphin which is a natural substance in the body and hundreds of times more potent than morphine.
Gymnastics is such a technical sport where you have to combine physical strength and geometry to get a good score. I spoke to Gymnastics Federation of Namibia honorary president Valereis Venter recently and she says that gymnastics can help brain development and increase learners' marks from 36% to 80%.
We should thus make certain sport codes compulsory in school as they enhance learners' academic performances.