Education must aim at the all-round development of children and youth. It is possible only if equal importance is given to extracurricular activities and particularly to games and sports. It has rightly been said that a sound mind lives in a sound body. A healthy person finds it much easier to take care of his mental and intellectual development. Games and sports keep the body fit and fresh.
They provide a healthy diversion from curricular studies and routine work of vocation. They generate the feelings of cheerfulness, friendliness and sociability. Regular players are always cheerful and happy. They are extrovert and communicative. They are seldom found to be gloomy and morose. Nothing can teach us better than games and sports the invaluable qualities of discipline, punctuality and co-operation.
Life is a constant struggle and poses before us challenge after challenge. Games and sports give us the requisite power, patience and perseverance to fight out the battle of life. The Duke of Wellington once said, “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playgrounds of Eton”. Nothing illustrates better the value and importance of games and sports. Much has been said about the spirit of sportsmanship.
A true sportsman should play a game with strength and courage, in a team-spirit and according to the rules. He should not lose his temper and be affected by victory or defeat. In this highly competitive age, however, what is required is the killing instinct. It does not seem pragmatic or even desirable for the competitors to remain completely detached and equanimous. There are a host of indoor and outdoor games, some of which are internationally popular. Games like chess, cricket, hockey, tennis and football have become commercialized.
Bit money is involved and the lure of the lucre does affect the players. Live telecasts of some games, particularly oneday cricket international and tennis have created an unhealthy craze among the lovers of sports. Sportsmen of international stature go to the other countries and play matches. They serve as cultural ambassadors of their country. It is deplorable that our performance on the international scene has so far been miserably poor. Special attention must be paid and effective measures must be adopted to bring our sports standards to the international level.