Mon, 22 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Restoring the spirit of sports, start in school

By

10 March 2016 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

A somewhat battered Sri Lanka team left on Tuesday night for the T2O World Cup tournament in India -- with President Maithripala Sirisena himself coming for their sendoff and the players having to be reminded that they should play as a team for the country. Thus it would be an appropriate time to reflect on the time-tested values of sports and what has happened in recent decades to sports also becoming a big business and many players alleged to be playing foul. 


At the T20 Asia cup tournament in Bangladesh recently, the Sri Lankan team was reported to be divided and in tatters with factions known to be loyal to different captains. Most analysts believe the great traditions of team spirit are being lost largely because big money is playing the dominating role, though the reality is that no one can worship sports and money.  


Among the gems for the true spirit of sports is one from the well-known American wrestler Dan Gable who has said that gold medals are not really made of gold. They are made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find metal called guts. American basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has given us another gem. He says one person can be a crucial ingredient in a team, but one person cannot make a team. Perhaps, the most widely quoted gem in the field of sports has come from the sportsman and famous sportswriter Henry Grantland Rice. According to him, when the one great scorer comes to mark against your name, he will write not if you won or lost but how you played the game. 


We focus the spotlight on the plus points and minus points in sports in the wake of what happened at the P. Sara Stadium last Saturday in the 82nd Battle of the Saints between St Joseph’s College and St Peter’s College. In the evening St Peter’s began their second innings needing just 66 runs for victory when Josephian supporters -- apparently influenced by some other spirits rather than the spirit of sport -- repeatedly invaded the field. They were perhaps in no mood to reflect on the sporting gems we have cited or Rudiyard Kipling’s warning that both victory and defeat are impostors -- meaning that they are transient or impermanent and should be treated just the same. 


It was twilight time when St.Peter’s reached 59 for 4 in 9.2 overs and required just seven more runs. Then came the big Josephian invasion of the field and the pitch, forcing the umpires to call off the match as a draw. But thankfully the match did not end on that unfair, unsporting and unjust note. The prophet and prelate who intervened to turn this disgrace and curse into a great blessing and lesson for all was St. Joseph’s College Rector Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel.

He emerged like an angel amidst the turbulence. It was a magnificent moment when Fr. Travis Gabriel came to the presentation ceremony and announced he had decided to award the match to St. Peter’s. This was a powerful and memorable lesson which we hope students of all schools will take seriously and practise as a first step towards restoring the spirit and dignity of sports. Well-done Fr. Travis, your noble deed will be recorded in letters of gold and be remembered long after victories and defeats are forgotten. It was the story of an angel saving the saints from the devil. 


Sir Donald Bradman widely regarded as the greatest cricketer in history has said, “The game of cricket existed long before I was born. It will be played centuries after my demise. During my career I was privileged to give the public my interpretation of its character in the same way that a pianist might interpret the works of Beethoven.” So be it.


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 0

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

MIRROR CRICKET

More