Sports teaches life lessons

The Cayman Islands can hold its head high with pride following the three-day success that was CARIFTA Games last Easter weekend.

The organisers didn’t have the normal two years to plan for the Games. Cayman agreed to play host after the US Virgin Islands pulled out over visa issues last year.

But the organisers, along with hundreds of volunteers, pulled off the Games almost seamlessly. If there were any flaws they weren’t obvious to the thousands who flocked at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex to cheer on the 600 young people who competed in track and field.

CARIFTA should be a clear signal to our government and educators that sports must be a part of the school curriculum.

Sports can be a healthy and affordable way to exercise. You don’t have to own a small fortune to be able to run.

Sports are also a very good way to learn self discipline and how to react to competition.

Winning in sports is about teaching children to do their best, regardless of their personal outcome or the outcome of the competitor.

Playing sports also affords children the opportunity to make new friends because they interact with a variety of people.

There’s no telling how many lasting friendships were made at the Truman Bodden Complex during the CARIFTA Games.

Insisting that children become involved in sports can also be an answer to the problem of childhood obesity, which we have reported and editorialised on in the Observer on Sunday.

Childhood obesity not only impacts self esteem. It can also lead to a lifetime of bad health and diseases associated with obesity, including heart disease and diabetes.

Getting your children involved in sports can help them develop a healthy lifestyle from an early age that can lead to a lifetime of better health.  If they cannot be in organised sports, try to get them out of the house to play ball, ride a bike or just take a walk together.

Participating in sports can also help children when they become adults and enter the work world. Business is, after all, about winning and losing.

Children that learn how to successfully win and lose will be better able to adjust in working environments.

The Observer on Sunday would like to see sports become a mandatory part of every school curriculum.

It’s a sure bet that the young people who competed on Cayman soil last week are all winners.