Sports is a vital weapon for virtually all sorts of societal battles with countries investing heavily in sports development showing the returns far exceed the monetary investments made. Here’s a list of the top four benefits a community can gain from sports investments…
Health & Wellbeing:
Did you know up to 20 illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cancer can all be prevented by partaking in sports. The good news doesn’t end there as the feel ‘good factor’ it brings to millions whether participants or spectators is priceless as far as health & wellbeing goes. With millions across the globe struggling to afford basic health services or medications this could well be the answer to improving health & wellbeing en masse!
Sports can be a money spinner for all involved, for example the UK has generated up to £20 billion pa through sports & related activities. Even a low income country such as Kenya has managed to get in on the act as it has had over £3 million put back into its local economy by virtue of prize money won by athletes who have had the privilege of becoming world class through training in world class facilities provided by their home country.
Sports can be a unifier as it brings people together and helps foster friendships and social skills. Many societal challenges such as gender inequality and early pregnancies can be arrested through sports. Similarly poor reputations of countries can be improved as hosting competitions can enable a country express itself in the eyes of others. Take China for example who showed their was much more to it than its poor human rights record at the time it hosted the olympics in 2008, similarly the Rugby world cup hosted by South Africa marked a change and the beginning of the end of apartheid.
Employability/ Job Prospects:
The social benefits acquired translate to improved job prospects as sports participants are more likely to co-operate, be consistent and disciplined all of which are vital characteristics required by employers. Regularity, reliability and respect for authority are additional assets likely to be exhibited by a sports person.
Its easy to underestimate the value of sporting governance bodies, but they have a key role in ensuring communities are able to reap the full benefits of partaking in sports as shown by the UK which has invested heavily in certain sports (unfortunately to the detriment of some sports) and after 20 years is now seeing itself being established as a sporting superpower by virtue of the amount of medals it has won in recent olympics & paralympic games.
This post was written by WESIE