The power of sport

Although Canadian health professionals bemoan the seeming absence of exercise in the lives of young people, there are those among us who still try to do some good.

At last week’s Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce event, two gentlemen who helped establish a basketball league in the township were recognized. Brian O’Connor and Spencer Linwood worked hard in setting up The Celtic Youth Basketball Club. To see their chosen sport flourish and succeed in this area is an honour, and speaks to their commitment.

Earlier in the week, the sporting community lost one of lacrosse’s greatest boosters. Mac Mason, long–time friend and employee, succumbed to cancer. Accolades about Mac and condolences for his family poured in from lacrosse organizations and many other community groups.

There are countless others who add to the benefit of our communities on a daily basis. Thinking back we can remember numerous people who spent a season or two coaching and encouraging those in their chosen sport. It takes special people to help kids have fun and learn about Sportsmanship.

One of the greatest benefits to team Sports is learning early that all players can bring something to the game. Good coaches pick out those positive attributes and foster the skills for the game. Even better coaches, help instill in players many other life lessons.

To excel in a sport takes hard work and commitment. There are naturals, but most great players have had to work hard to achieve success in their field.

Everybody on a team needs to do his part. If a defenceman thinks his time is better spent trying to score a goal, the opposing team will have better opportunities to score.

Sport helps develop good cardiovascular systems and provides muscle toning. One of the more troubling aspects of the last couple of generations is that so little emphasis is placed on good health until people are told once a medical condition has set in that exercise is needed.

 Playing on a team requires commitment and lessons are learned early in that, if people show up to practice, arrive on time, and are prepared, they get to play. Sure there are times when the best players are needed to secure a win, but most coaches are sensitive to letting committed players have a chance.

The bonds formed in Sports very often last for years. Even as teams change, there is a fateful glance and admiration most times for good teammates. Parents and coaches can really instill good values when admiring opposing team players for their skills, too.

The net benefit to our communities when sport is strong is that young and old can join in taking part in a healthy exercise for body and mind.

Thanks to all those coaches who encourage the power of sport.