Samante: Love and respect the game

Game On

AT AROUND this time of the year, summer sports programs abound, catering to children of all ages and offering various sports activities to try and participate in. Our summer sports programs were about sports basics and the character and values that the campers beyond their participation could carry over.

“Love and respect the game and the game will love and respect you back.” It is one of the many values we used to impart with our summer sports camp participants back when I was still with the athletics office of the AdDU. It encourages our campers to love and respect the game, regardless of their level: beginner or advanced. And that this love for the game will earn them its merits in the future. How does one love and respect the game?

a. Come and prepare for practice.

b. Prepare your sports equipment ahead.

c. Listen to your coaches.

d. Follow the rules of the game.

These little things, followed by every athlete’s heart, show great love and respect for the game.

Practicing these things makes one a winner in sports and life. It also reminds me of one of the famous quotes from legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden: “It’s the little details that are vital. It’s the little things that make big things happen.”

The past week was a sad one for sports with the VisMin league ruckus. It made its rounds on social media criticizing the organizers and players, and teams involved. I don’t want to delve into the details nor point fingers at anyone. Instead, I am appealing to all sportspeople in the nation; let us go back to the basics when engaging our athletes. Let us go back to the little things of why we love and enjoy playing.

Nowadays, commercialization has become the name of the game.

What has happened to love and respect for the game? Win or lose; we must play with integrity. And when this is lost, the game loses its marvel. The VisMin league was a promising prospect for aspiring athletes from Visayas and Mindanao.

What transpired snuffed out the dreams and desires of these youngsters. “If I should win, it should be with humility. If I lost, it would be with a smile and a handshake as the winner goes by.”


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