Published: 2:14 pm June 21, 2020 | Updated: 9:08 am June 24, 2020
Written on 20 March 2020 as a message to scholar-athletes whose competitive season was put in limbo as games were suspended and most were asked to go home or stay in dorms in quarantine. The piece suggests seven challenges to athletes to keep in mind during the interim period so as to be productive and positive during the lockdown period when group training and practice was made impossible.
“No (wo)man is an island entire of itself; every (wo)man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” John Donne
WE WILL ALL REMEMBER this period like no other in our lives when practically everything stopped, including our efforts to build team, to strengthen our skills and to prepare for future contests on the courts, the pitch, the track or the field.
It is a time when we will remember the things that really matter: the lives of people, the fragility of life, the importance of loved ones, that all of us wherever we are and wherever we come from are somehow inter-connected as part of one human family.
It is a time to slow down and reflect, and focus our minds on a few truths:
- All of life is a gift;
- Our parents and our grandparents, our siblings and our friends, no matter how imperfect we all are, are blessings whose love and care we need to acknowledge and nurture;
- Our world is fragile, and we all play a part to allow it to breathe and heal, and we have a responsibility to bequeath a better world to the next generation.
As scholar-athletes, there are a few challenges we confront during this down-time:
- To keep fit, to make sure we are in tip-top shape when training and games resume;
- To make sure we remain healthy and strong, quick in mind and body, ready to engage when called to practice and perform when the dust has settled;
- To study and to read since we are students first of all, and we have to excel in academics as well as in sports;
- To spend time with our parents and grandparents who are the most vulnerable in this period of Covid 19, and to show them how grateful we are for helping us to grow into the persons that we have become;
- To appreciate the importance of siblings and cousins, and true friends, for at the end of the day, life is about relationships and caring for others;
- To take responsibility so that we keep ourselves healthy as well as all others who come our way for we all are responsible for each other;
- To understand why it is important to be brave and to be kind, in these days when it is so easy to fall prey to fear, ignorance or intolerance; to play our own part, no matter how modest, so that we can emerge from this period better citizens of the country that we have learned to love.
We look forward to the day when we can be together again with our teammates and coaches. But it will never be the same again. This period has given us a chance to bring out our better angels. Be brave!