It’s easy to hear the word “values” linked to the sport world, but often in a generic and confused way.
At first you may think at the famous F.I.F.A. and U.E.F.A.’s campaigns on fair play and against racism that have extraordinary visibility and worldwide resonance.
However, there are sports disciplines even better than Football to explain and teach values that can easily be moved from sports to society.
Sports practiced from a very young age, are great connectors and helpful tools in terms of personal growth and development. One of these is Gymnastics.
On the website of the Italian Gymnastics Federation there is an essay entitled “Lo Sport come strategia e cura, valori educativi e potenzialità” “Sport as strategy and therapy, educational values and potentials” where two parts can be very useful in this case:
“Generally, we are not used to observe a sporting event from an educational point of view. Sport activity, on the other hand, contributes to the building of an harmonious and balanced personality, which can be the foundation to an opening to higher values such as culture, social participation and the research for meanings that go beyond material and everyday aspects of life.”
Sporting life can be very important in everyday life as a driver for better relationships, respect of rules as well as for well-being in general.
Some countries did and planned significant investments in the sport world – both in educational and sporting events – and they are already achieving extraordinary results in terms of life expectancy increase and healthcare savings, with double-digit growth in percentage.
Another extremely important part of the essay is the one concerning the rules:
“Knowing and being used to play within the rules of competition, we also get used to form a system of rules that dictate us ”how to play” in everyday’s life and build a system of values useful to guide our choices and decisions and to maintain a lifestyle according to an “order of importance” of our actions. Sports activity teaches how to win and how to lose”
“How to play” in everyday life. Yes, Sports allows you in a quick and intuitive way to understand the rules and standards of the society where you live in, from a very young age.
It would be impossible to ask a child to learn every action and link it to legal, illegal, right or wrong, it’s just too difficult and complex!
It’s much easier to teach him the basic concepts by saying that beyond a given line it there is no longer the possibility to play.
Simple and intuitive! The same boy will learn very quickly how much a rule should be respected not only because itself – he could no longer play – but because even if he was the only one not to respect it, nobody else could play the game.
Here we return to the first step where the educational values of Sports do not refer exclusively in being healthier and more educated and kind people with no racism, but these values lead to a better society, as people will clearly understand their role and how much every single action can be important for the whole community.