To be successful in sport, you need to have the right attitude. Honesty, dignity, fair play, respect, teamwork, commitment and courage are essential to lead a memorable sporting performance. All of these indispensible values can be summed up in the term ‘fair play’. Through various sporting events, the values of fair play can be put into practice in order to help make the world a better place. Hence, sport can be powerful by allowing young aspiring athletes to emulate their role models when playing in the spirit of fair play.
Many people define fair play as abiding by the rules of the game and to accept defeat. However, this not only the case when it come to fair play. Fair play is a complex notion that comprises and embodies a number of other values that are fundamental not only to sport but also to everyday life.
Respect, friendship, team spirit, fair competition, sport without doping, respect for written and unwritten rules such as equality, integrity, solidarity, tolerance, care, excellence and joy, are the building blocks of fair play that can be experienced and learnt both on and off the field.
Sport is very influential in today’s world as it unites and brings many people together regardless of their gender, race and ethnicity. Therefore, promoting fair play through sport can surely be a tool that ultimately will help to create awareness and leads to a better social world. Fair play in different kinds of sport can be emulated through:
Winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly. Cheating is easy, however it brings no pleasure and satisfaction. Playing fair requires courage and character. Fair play always has its rewards, even when the game is lost. Playing fair earns respect, while cheating only brings shame. Sporting individuals must remember that it is only a game and games are pointless unless played fairly.
Playing to win but accepting defeat with dignity:
Winning is the object of playing any game. Never set out to lose. If athletes or players do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and also fooling oneself. Never give up against stronger opponents but never relent against weaker ones. It is an insult to any opponent to play at less than full strength. Play to win, until the final whistle. However, it is difficult to win all the time. You win some and you lose some. Learning to lose graciously is the way forward and do not seek excuses for defeat. Genuine reasons will always be self-evident. Congratulating the winners with good grace is also another form of fair play. After a loss one must be determined to do better next time. Good losers will eventually earn more respect than bad winners.
Observing the Laws of the Game:
All games need rules to guide them in order to protect and safeguard the athletes taking part. Without rules, there would be chaos. The rules of in various sports are simple and easy to learn. As an athlete or player, understanding the game better will make you a better player. It is equally important to understand the spirit of the rules. They are designed to make the game fun to play and fun to watch. By sticking to the rules, the game will be more enjoyable and appreciated.
Respecting opponents, team-mates, referees, officials and spectators:
Fair Play means putting forward the value of respect. Without opponents there can be no game. Everyone has the same rights, including the right to be respected. Teammates are colleagues and they form a team in which all members are equal. Referees are there to maintain discipline and Fair Play. Sporting people must accept their decisions without arguing, and help them to enable all participants to have a more enjoyable game. Officials are also part of the game and must be respected accordingly.
Spectators give the game its life and...