The CITY that PLAYS together, STAYS together

It feels great to meet old friends, from school days, from college.. isn’t it? At a recent get-together, I got the opportunity to meet many of them. While we were reminiscing the past, I realised that their present was only about work and more work. There was no sports, no time for fun in it. Being someone who is extremely passionate about sports, it really saddened me because most of them, at some point in their lives, had really enjoyed playing some or the other sport. It didn’t surprise me to know that while they were actually willing to make time for playing a sport, the sad part is they don’t find many occasions or platforms or like minded people to play with.

Having been deeply involved in every aspect of sports, I have always been aware of this looming sports-related issue that people face. This incident simply reaffirmed it further.

Over time, this issue has spread its tentacles across the entire city’s demographics. It has gripped every sports loving member of a family, be it a kid or an adult. The situation that my group of friends talked about that day, is actually a reflection of the what the entire city faces.

For me, it is a grave condition as its killing the sportsperson inside every individual.

That’s reason enough to ignite a thought.

IS THERE A NEED? WHAT IS IT?

Local club games, gully cricket, miscellaneous street games are always there but is that enough? What about people who like other sports? Are there enough opportunities for people in this city to play the sport THEY enjoy? Is there any platform that promotes mass participation?

The answer is clearly not. But, I believe, there is a strong need.

Mumbai does host several sporting events but most of them focus only on a single sport. For example, the Mumbai Marathon focuses only on running.

Our city needs sporting events that promotes not one but various types of sports, caters to not only professional players but also amateurs, welcomes people from various stratas, and is also age-agnostic. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But imagine… won’t something like that be wonderful – for many of us who have been wanting to take part in sporting events but have shied away thinking, “it must be only for professionals” or “I’m too old to participate”, etc..

WILL IT HELP?

A sporting event which tick marks all these above criteria will definitely be a boon to the city. With the kind of stressful lives that we are leading, especially we, Mumbaikars, be it a corporate, a businessman, a homemaker, a school kid or even a retired person, it is only increasing our hospital visits. To add to this, our sedentary lifestyle makes things worse. We need more occasions to de-stress and have fun.

I strongly believe, a mass sporting event is the answer.

An event of such huge magnitude will help bring the city and its people together. The youth will be able to channelize their energies in a positive way; children will learn life lessons on teamwork, discipline and other such valuable virtues; and the elderly can relive their youth by participating in various sports. Even for people who are not too keep on participating; just watching their loved ones play and enjoy will bring them such joy. So, yes, it has something for everyone.

And then there is the process of participants preparing for the event which in itself is fun and rewarding. Practice sessions give the opportunity to meet new people, forge new friendship and bond socially.

A mass sporting event has the power to rejuvenate the city and its people through its sheer magnitude and pull.

Imagine it to be a big festival with family and friends, where there are no boundaries whatsoever and the only thing one needs to do is play and have fun.

SOMETHING’S COOKING!

We believe, it’s time to realize this need. ….and as I’m writing this, there is already something that’s started cooking. Can you smell it?