A Sport for All Seasons
A Sport for All Seasons
Mon Sep 03 01:20:00 EDT 2007 | by Valerie Gin
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I just recently returned home from a trip to South Africa.  I've traveled annually to South Africa for the last five years to share with sport leaders from around the world.  This year the leaders were from Costa Rica, Ukraine, Nepal, Myanmar, Mexico, Uganda, Sudan, India and other countries in Asia and Africa.  I was, as usual, the only person in the group from the United States.  It is so fascinating to me to hear about their lives, families, and cultures and how vastly diverse and different we are.  Perhaps it is most obvious when we share a meal together.  My friends from India are adding chili peppers to their food to suit their spicy tastes, friends from Asia are hoping for rice while the Europeans are craving potatoes, the Africans enjoy a grain that I am unfamiliar with made into a grainy, crumbly cake-like biscuit.  I am simply happy that my meals are being prepared for me and am usually game to try anything!

In spite of the obvious differences in looks and tastes it is equally amazing to me that all of us share a common bond...a love of sports!  Our tastes in sports differ but the love of movement, competition, and excellence are surprisingly similar!  I've learned a lot about rugby, cricket, rounders, netball, formula one racing, and of course futbol (soccer)!

Being wired4sport is truly a universal phenomena and no culture or people group is exempt from some in their tribe being wired this way!   

While driving through the South African countryside with some friends I discovered a sport new to me called bowls.  From far away, I mistakenly thought these sportspeople dressed in all white were cricketeers.  Bowls is a game similar to bocce.  A white ball (the target) is thrown and the competitors on two teams try to bowl their balls closest to the  target ball while knocking their opponents balls away from the target.  The balls are unequally weighted so that they can curve or hook depending on how the bowler spins the ball when released.  

I enjoyed watching this older group of ladies and men play bowls.  The level of competition was quite serious, fierce and competitive.  Watching this Bowls Tournament affirmed my belief that people are truly wired4sport not just for a time or season of life but wired4sport for a lifetime.  Perhaps I might find myself enjoying the sport of bowls when I get older but until then I'll enjoy watching others bowl!

Posted by jdayhew
Jun 17, 2013 @ 06:21 AM
Hi Valerie, Your story brought back fond memories of my own visits to ISLS 10 or so years ago. By the way, someone who plays cricket is a CRICKETER, not a cricketeer, though we can band together like musketeers when the moment moves us! Jim