Children must have the right to play: Sachin Tendulkar | Off the field
Happy 75th birthday, @UNICEF. Congratulations on your continued efforts to improve the lives of children… https://t.co/Z71IHw1he6
– Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1639198244000
Below is the article, which was tweeted by UNICEF India on Saturday.
“The late great cricket coach Achrekar Sir once said to me: No one is bigger than the game. It was one of the most profound advice I have ever received and he followed me. throughout my years in the sport. The game does not discriminate; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy. As long as there is passion in your heart, the game is yours.
Sport is a tremendous means of transformation. Watch Avani Lekhara, the Indian Paralympic athlete and rifle shooter. The courage and mental toughness she has shown in overcoming the challenges at such a young age – she is only 19 – to win a gold medal for India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is incredible.
This is what is amazing about sports. It brings you hope and joy even under the most difficult of circumstances. You can leave behind all your doubts, fears and prejudices that may have locked you up and give in to your most natural instinct: to play.
Children must have the right to play. It’s the best way to help them channel their energy and teach them some of life’s most valuable lessons – on strength and determination, humility and mutual respect, on resilience and sportsmanship. .
Being able to play with an open mind encourages children to push their limits and, in doing so, to discover their own potential. Throughout my career, I have always played with my heart. It was always about the process, not the result. I played because cricket gave me and will always give me joy.
My father always told me: first be a good person; all the rest can come later. Sport is the best teacher for building character. When you are on a sports field, be it cricket or badminton, football or hockey, you give up everything else and become a sportsman, and only that.
You stand on the same platform as everyone else and learn to win with dignity and accept defeat with humility. Sport doesn’t see your gender, just your hard work.
It is for this very reason that I think sports are a great way to empower girls. In November 2019, when I traveled to Nepal as a UNICEF Ambassador and joined the women’s team in a game of cricket, I was impressed with the confidence they exuded. The enthusiasm of cricketers competing in the Women’s Cricket League in October 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir has been a source of inspiration.
At home or in society in general, girls may face various types of discrimination, but on the sports field they have the opportunity to show their talent. It helps them grow as individuals. The Indian women’s hockey team played brilliantly at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and produced many such examples. The captain, Rani Rampal’s dad couldn’t afford to buy her a hockey stick when she was growing up, so she played with a broken stick; Jharkhand’s Salima Tete played with wooden sticks for the same reason. Deep Grace Ekka’s family has been criticized for being “allowed” to play the game as a girl.
It is the same goal that prompts teenage footballer Pria Dutta of Bangladesh to play for the national football team. Pria’s father is a carpenter who has to work hard to support his family of four. All of her struggles, including societal prejudices, subside once Pria, the team’s best striker, dribbles the football. She knows that on the pitch she is invincible and that motivates her to work harder.
The big message is: Let every child, girl and boy, play sport. It will help their physical and mental growth. As the UNICEF Cricket for Good Ambassador at the 2017 Women’s World Cup, my goal was to motivate girls to play the sport and compete in world class championships. Sport, like music, transcends borders and helps shape our children into well-rounded individuals who will be an asset to our society. Let’s give them this opportunity. ”