Friday, January 9, 2009

The SPORTSMANSHIP Spirit

This is my first write up (tho' not the first posting) for the first week of 2009. Yes, 2009 is definitely a year of Challenge and a new Beginning for many things. For the past 2 years, besides taking part in running events, I also got the chance to taste being an organiser and standing on the other side as volunteer as well. Perhaps now I can emphatise with the woes faced by organisers as well as runners. However it is almost impossible to satisfy the needs of each and everyone. What lacking these days are the true spirit of SPORTSMANSHIP. And the saddest part is even those whom we look up upon as good example for the young to emulate are the one who flaunt their uncalled conduct unashamedly.

Is winning and consistently trying at all cost to be a champion that important? Isn't sport supposed to be the catalyst in forging friendship and respect irrespective of age, colour, belief, nationality and social status? Isn't sport supposed to teach us to be team players?

Let us look at the definition as described in the Wikipedia.

SPORTSMANSHIP is conformance to the rules, spirit and etiquette of sport. More grandly, it may be considered the ethos of sport. It is interesting that the motivation for sport is often an elusive element. Sportsmanship expresses an aspiration or ethos that the activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respects and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors. Being a 'good sport' involves being a 'good winner' as well as being a 'good loser'.

Often the pressures of competition, individual achievement, or introduction of technlogy can seem to work against enjoyment by participants. As a result, sportsmanship may contracted with gamesmanship.

Sportsmanship typically is regarded as component of morality in sport, composed of three related and perhaps overlapping concepts: fair play, character and sportsmanship.

Fair play refers to all participants having an equitable chance to pursue victory and acting towards others in an honest, straightforward and a firm and dignified manner even when others do not play fair. It includes respect for others including team members, opponents and officials.

Character refers to dispositions, value and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, fairness and successes and is typically seen in polite behaviours toward others such as helping an opponent up or skaking hands after a match. An individual is believed to have a 'good character' when those dispositions and habits reflect core ethical values.

Sportsmanship can be conceptualized as an endurance and relatively stable characteristics or disposition such that individual differs in the way they are generally expected to behave in sports situations. In general, sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage and persistance and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control in dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. Five facets of sportsmanship have been identified:

Full commitment to participation (eg. showing up, work hard during all practices and games, acknowledging one's mistakes and trying to improve);

Respect & concern for rules & officials;

Respect & concern for social conventions (eg. shaking hands, recognising the good performance of an opponent)

Respect and concern for the opponent (eg. lending one's equipment to the opponent, agreeing to play even if the opponent is late, not taking advantage of injured opponents) and

Avoiding poor attitudes towards participation (eg. not adopting a win-at-all-cost approach, not showing temper after a mistakes, and not competing solely for individual prizes).


Hopefully 2009 will bring about more changes in people's attitude towards life and be more responsible in their conducts.

2 comments:

Wong Kei Ming said...

julie,

i like ur article very much! very nice to read! there is still a lot of runners do not really understand what is sportmanship! they do not care of others bcoz of they juz want to win in any competition!

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