On Peace: Spirit of Sportmanship

Amb. Toheeb Olayiwola

Ed. 182/25.08/2021

Growing up, during one of the daily morning assemblies in school, a teacher who was giving the day´s pep talk advised that we develop the spirit of ´sportmanship´. There and then, I could not fathom what he meant, though I participate in sporting activities for leisure but I had neither thought of running after the round leather as a career nor the seemingly unending run on lanes. Then, why sportsmanship? The restlessness would later make me take a dictionary and check the meaning of the word and till today, the concept is still etched in my head but for the sake of this write-up, I consulted the Merriam Webster Dictionary which explains it as: “conduct (such as fairness, respect for one´s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport”. Like I was then, you, as well, probably could not connect the dot between building a ‘spirit of sportsmanship’ and your non sport-related life.However, we all would have, at one point or another, had the cause to compete for something limited. Who won is irrelevant. What really matters is what is left after the competition? Are you strong enough to cheer the winner or it becomes the source of a seemingly unending hostility?

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