Vinaka – Thanks for the reminder that Sports are just Games!

chow 1Recently, I attended the Primary School athletics carnivals in Fiji which were split over three divisions – North, West and Central.  I was struck by the way that even these very young people had so much character.  In Fiji, when accepting anything at all from a superior, it is traditional to make one’s self lower than that person, and clap three times in acceptance of the honour.  Watch how it’s done here.

Time after time, I saw lovely young girls and boys, who in their moment of glory, humbled themselves to accept their medals in the traditional manner.  It brought a tear to my eyes.  I also saw love, friendship and sheer jubilation.  It reminded me of the spirit of sports from when I was a kid.

With the passing of my father recently, it has made me think about many things.  What lessons did he really teach me and why?  What is really his lasting legacy?

Number 1: Education, education, educationchow 2

Number 2: It is your duty in life to care for those who are less able than yourself, whether they are old, young, disabled, sad, or simply not as smart as you are, or able to deal with life’s challenges in the same way

Number 3: Don’t smack your children – it shows them that you are out of control, out of ideas, and beyond the point of reason.  That is not the way to gain their respect.

I try I think to live by these three values.  There are so many more, but these are the ones that keep recurring, and guide me through.

I was reminded of these simple values, and how much they mean to character when I attended the Chow Games.  It was like going back in time to a time where people remembered: SPORTS ARE JUST GAMES.  Competitive, but just fun in the end.

Thank you (Vinaka!!) to the children of Fiji (and their mentors of course) for reminding me of the joy of games, and what can be achieved within the game if you are of strong character.