By Katie Wilson
Not many of us realize the value of education, mainly because we take it for granted. We were blessed enough to be born into a good home with good parents and it was taken for granted that we would attend good schools and go on to graduate from good colleges. But for those who are less fortunate, education remains a distant dream, one that is achieved only through sports. Children from poor backgrounds who are talented in sports and games are offered a shot at school through scholarships and funding, and for them, education is the key that opens the door to a totally different life from the one they knew.
They use sports as a ladder to climb up the rungs of education, and although some of them struggle with lessons and assignments, they manage to make it through. Sports help in furthering the cause of education by:
• Increasing knowledge about the world: Inter-country sports meets help in spreading awareness about the culture, customs and habits of people from different parts of the world. We learn a lot through observation, interaction, communication, and comparison.
• Enhancing respect for rules and regulations: Sportsmen and women are familiar with rules and their importance in the world of sports. They are thus able to understand the regulations that govern education, and are able to abide by them without questioning authority.
• Increases self-confidence: Any person good in one walk of life automatically gains confidence in others. So if you’re good at sports, it follows that your confidence will spill over to academics as well. And with confidence on your side, you are motivated to give your best.
• Providing a way to a better life: Children from a poor background who are not too interested in education realize soon enough that a sports scholarship is the best way to a better life, one that does not include abject poverty and misery. They are thus motivated to do better at school and seek a place for themselves in college later in life.
• Decreasing depression: Sports, as we all know, is a natural stress buster. Any activity that we enjoy and that gives us a good workout releases feel-good endorphins which elevate the mood. A good mood is conducive to performing well in academics because there’s a peace of mind that allows greater concentration. Sports are a great outlet for frustrations of any kind.
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