Sports - why not!

I wonder if I can change that day. Back then, I was studying in the 9th standard. It was raining heavily on that afternoon. I, accompanied by mother, went for a district badminton selection trial, both of us drenched head to toe, in that heavy downpour. By the time we had reached, the venue was closed. So was my dream.

Since my school days, I observed our apathy towards sports. We tend to consider sports either a recreational instrument or a way to grab suitable jobs, especially in families with low income.

Sports - indoor and outdoor; individual and team- have their own role shaping a human. Sports activities develop both skills and character in tandem. During the ups and downs of my professional journey, I sensed a need for nurturing both body and mind. Sports is that magic wand.

We see that the history of numerous sports-persona reflects remarkable resilience and drive. Muhammed Ali, Chris Evert, Kristin Otto, Novak Djokovic, Usain Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kapil Dev, P V Sindhu, and many more to quote – everyone manifested grit and passion in their own area of excellence.

Individual sports help develop discipline, focus, and passion. On the other hand, team sports help nurture coordination, inclusiveness, ownership, and a collaborative mindset. We develop an urge to win, practice a sense of agility, learn to accept failure, and encourage co-opetition. It enables coordination between body and mind, as well as, builds a person physically fit, mentally alert, and socially adaptable.

All these are precious and expensive skill sets. Higher management, human resource executives and psychological advisories often encourage a healthy psychophysical system. If we observe our need to be a balanced social entity, we too acknowledge these skills.

As we emerge from a crisis, in post-pandemic episodes of social distancing, we will sense a deep need of being connected. I believe, is a time to re-imagine sports as a development instrument.

P.S: I relived my dream to play badminton after 15 years. In XLRI, while studying General Management, I started playing badminton again. It helped me improve my agility and responses as well as tied organic knots among fascinating peers – Shreya, Gopi, Kshitij, Aswin, Rahul, and many more. We elated as we smashed each other and chased the shuttle. We cheered as we celebrated victory; our bond strengthened as we shared our defeats - in singles and in doubles.

Badminton gifted me not only uncountable memorable moments but everlasting joy and hunger to play.

Ushasi Sengupta is a research analyst in TCS. She completed Post Graduate Diploma in General Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur, in 2019. She is an avid enthusiastic of outdoor sports, especially Badminton and Swimming. Apart from working from home, she is spending her quarantined days in writing and spending substantial time in physical exercise.