The following is a speech written by Josephine Santos, 13 years old and Team Captain of the Philippine Delegation of 6 girls and 7 boys to the first ever World Kids Triathlon Championships in Yokohama Japan on August 23, 2009. The kids have been preparing for this historic event and are pretty excited about the race. Read on…
Merit of Nurturing Physical and Mental Health through Sports
By: Josephine Marie M. Santos
Good Morning fellow athletes! I am Josephine Marie .M. Santos , 13 years old, and captain of the Philippine team.
The Philippines , my country, is an archipelago like Japan . It is made up of 7, 107 islands—when it’s low tide. It is found in the Southeastern part of Asia right below Taiwan and east of Vietnam . The Philippines is rich in breathtaking landscapes such as the Chocolate Hills in Bohol , Mayon volcano in Bicol, and the Banaue rice terraces in Ifugao. It is blessed with beautiful beaches like the world-famous white sand Boracay beach in the South and Pagudpud in the North. Did you know that the Philippines is the 3 rd leading copper producer in the world and the 2 nd only to South Africa to gold production?
Some famous sports and games in the Philippines are basketball, badminton, and the local games. These local games like the patintero, piko (also known as hop-scotch), sekio, and sipa have been passed on from generation to generation. These games and sports are so popular in our country that you can see people playing them outside their houses, in schools and even on the streets. Take basketball for example, every community has a basketball court as a permanent fixture in their parks, plazas and even street corners! In school, local games are included in our Physical Education subject.
When I was 5 years old, my father taught me how to swim and trained me for an aquathlon. My first aquathlon race was a 100 m swim and a 500 m run. I started crying after the first 50 meters of my swim but my dad knew that physically I was capable of finishing the distance of the pool because he prepared me well that summer. He encouraged me to keep on going even if I was the only one left in the pool. I finished the swim and I started running. I started to feel good, and even overtook a bigger girl. I’m glad things turned out that way. What if he felt sorry for me, pulled me out of the water when I was crying and let me quit? Was it okay not to finish what you have started? What message would that have given me? There is a quote by John Collins, which goes: “you can quit and nobody else will care but you’ll always know” and I have learned to live by it.
Engaging in sports involves many aspects of the human being. On the physical side, as athletes, we have to keep our bodies in top shape by eating the right kinds of food and practicing self discipline in working out regularly, getting enough sleep and balancing our priorities. We build self-confidence, perseverance and discipline. It makes us goal-oriented, self-controlled, and we develop independence and assertiveness. Studies show that young people who participate in organized sports perform better in school, develop better social skills, are more team-oriented, and are generally healthier.
Engaging in sports offer opportunities for leadership, socialization and other important skills for handling success and failure. It teaches us to accept responsibility for our own behavior. When playing games, we learn how to follow rules. We understand that we need rules to keep things in order. Each person must follow the rules. Following rules mean that we respect the rights of others. We are able to compete, but we do so within a system wherein safety is considered and losers do not suffer too much. Sports also provide an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety. We are able to socialize with others more successfully.
The merit of nurturing physical and mental health through sports is that you have a positive outlook in life. You can develop a sound mind in a sound body. Having a physically and mentally healthy body can promote social well-being among young people. Everyone dreams of a better world, where there is peace on Earth and goodwill to all. Friendship breeds camaraderie, a common bond which unites people of different experiences, culture, and race.
You should have a balanced physical and mental capacity so that we never give the excuse: “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Sports not only take care of the body but also the spirit. Since we, the youth are the future, healthy kids mean a healthy world.
Engaging in sports prepares us for life. Life is tough. Sports make us tougher.