Sport and sportsmanship: play fair!

Some say that human beings suffer the biggest changes in their behavior when we sit down at a wheel or when we go to watch a football game. Although many referees would make these words theirs, doing sports or going to see sports should be a much more peaceful and enriching activity. Putting on some shorts, a T-shirt and some slippers does not mean that we can throw all kinds of insults or behave like real animals.

The love of sport - both as a participant and as a spectator - is something that enriches the personality. Playing tennis, in addition to getting fit, is an educational activity: we have to follow certain rules, we face another person ... In fact, when we practice a sport, our way of being becomes particularly evident and, especially, our degree of good education.

Towards a better world: fair play in sports

The Olympic Charter begins with the enumeration of the fundamental principles that inspire the Greek tradition. The first one says: "The aims of the Olympic movement are: ... to educate youth through sports, in a spirit of better mutual understanding and friendship, thus contributing to the construction of a better and more peaceful world".

It's okay if someone has lent an ironic smile to their lips after reading the previous paragraph. He probably remembered the soccer matches on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoon; or of the tragedies that happen from time to time in the stadiums. In spite of everything, it is necessary to repeat it and to make it clear: in sports, sportsmanship and fair play because sports are not at odds with politeness. Moreover, the practice of sports, by the special nobility that nests in their spirit, has always been one of the most enriching human activities.

Healthy competitiveness in sport

Competitiveness is an essential part of sport. Therefore, both viewers and fans want their team to win. And this competition constitutes an insurmountable example of nobility and virtue. Some said that the important thing was not to win or lose, but to participate; to which another, more realistic about the defeat, responded: "Who said that the important thing was to participate, surely he was a loser".

When we play a game of golf, tennis, football, basketball, squash ... we will win, then, otherwise, it would not be funny. Is there something more unnerving than your opponent is dedicated to playing without seriousness, instead of throwing the remains to succeed?

Therefore, in mass sports it is right that supporters and "fans" encourage their corresponding team with shouts and banners. But enthusiasm does not have to be at odds with education. Thus, although a certain degree of "rebuke" is admissible, on the contrary, personal offense and vulgar words can never be reached.

Ignacio Iturbe

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