All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. So goes the saying. Play is an instinct. During childhood and boyhood one tends to play more. Though the child begins to play alone, later it likes to play with others. Play is a creative activity. It not only helps the growth of the body but also mind. Play is not limited to any particular age group. It goes on from birth to death. It is not confined to human beings only. Even animals and birds play. It gives joy and happiness and makes life worth living.
Sports and games are organized plays with certain rules and regulations. Collective efforts are a must in games, whereas sports are individual based. Each country has its own games. They are called indigenous games. For example, Kabaddi is an indigenous game our country. There are some games played in all or many countries. They are football, hockey, cricket, volleyball, tennis, tennikoit, badminton etc. some countries have their national games too. The national game of the U.S.A. is baseball. The national game of Australia is cricket.
Some sports events are recognized internationally. Some of them are 100 metres and 400 metres running races, marathon race, high jump, long jump, triple jump, discuss throw2, shot-put, javelin throw etc. there are also water sports, swimming of various types, water polo etc. There are winter games conducted on snow, such as skating, skiing etc.
Why are games and sports so universally popular and are continued since ages? The answer is simple. It promotes good health, develops tolerance, cooperation, a mental attitude to defeat and success alike, i.e., sportsmanship. Health is wealth. There is a maxim which reads work while you work, play while you play. That is the way to be healthy and gay;
Discipline is another aspect of sports and games. Here discipline means social discipline and personal discipline. In a play field one is expected to accept his position in the team and play, obey the captain and contribute to the success of the team. This is social discipline. Keeping fit and observing punctuality. Spirit of cooperation, tolerance and friendship is personal discipline. Achievement is possible only by a disciplined person as he is always clear about his aims and objectives. That is why, it is said that the battle of waterloo was fought not on the waters of Waterloo but on the play fields of Eaton.
Of late, there is a spurt in all countries towards games and sports. Both men and women are in the field. Games like Olympic Games give scope for healthy competition and show of excellence. The “Olympic Games” were started in Greece in 776 B.C on the Mount Olympus in honor of God Zeus. Olympic Games are being conducted once in four years except during the periods of World Wars I and II. THE LAST Olympics were held at Atlanta in 1996.
Besides Olympics, there are many international meets in sports. Commonwealth games, Asian Games, SAARC Games etc. in which many countries belonging to the specified areas participate.
India is a country with a large population. Nearly one fifth of the world population lives in India. In the matter of game3s and sports we are nowhere near the top. For some years India was at the top position in hockey. It is necessary to improve ourselves in this field. Efforts are on at the National, State and District levels in this direction. But a lot more is yet to be done. Search for talent, proper coaching facilities, and special schools for sports and games are being started and activities in these areas are to be expanded.