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Sporting Events: Source of Peace or War?

At the end of September, the Health Sciences Students’ Association in partnership with the Conflict Studies and Human Rights Students’ Association will be holding a soccer tournament on Campus. The proceeds will go towards an organization that uses soccer to raise awareness, starting a young age, on AIDS/HIV in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In an era of revolutions and development, sports should be used to promote messages that enable a peaceful, educated and healthy society. Come join us to support an event that showcases sports the right way and for a great cause.

This event, organized post-Olympics, brings a discourse on what the real purpose of sporting events should be. The first Olympics, held in 776 BC, were originally created to honor the Olympian Gods. The games became a part of their culture and eventually a Greek tradition. The Olympics multiplied and strengthened relations between the different regions of Greece. They also trained men to become physically stronger, which was helpful in the outcome of a war. Since then, the Olympics have become an international phenomenon by bringing countries of the world together every two years. The Olympics are a platform for the top athletes of the world to compete in a peaceful way. The Olympics aims to use sports for education, improvement of gender equality, development and peace. Unfortunately, in the past years, the Olympics have caused conflicts on multiple levels, which has raised the concern of human nature winning over rationality: therefore, is the need to win stronger than the will for respect and tolerance?

Sports are a great way to teach individuals the qualities needed to live in a better society: respect, tolerance, teamwork, acceptance of defeat, patience and equality. Athleticism also promotes healthy habits, including a healthy diet and the non-consumption of illegal substances. Rationally speaking, all those values could be found within the Olympics. Regrettably, they are not. In the past decade, there have been countless cases of Olympians on steroids and various forms of vandalism created to avenge the loss of a team or a country. Competition can unfortunately bring out the worst in people. Defeat in sports has created tension between already troubled relationships of certain countries. Whether it is during the FIFA Cup, the Euro Cup, the Olympics or the Stanley Cup, the supporters of either team are not always respectful.

To conclude, sporting events may have become too politically oriented. Indeed, sports at an international level were once portrayed as a way to release stress and find temporary or steady peace regardless of tensions between two or more countries. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Supporting local sporting events, such as the upcoming on-campus soccer tournament, is a great way to enjoy sports in a non-political manner and to have tons of fun!

For more information on the tournament email vp.social.en@chra-aech.ca


Picture: questgarden.com

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