What's up: What sports can do

What's up: What sports can do

The world today is in pieces, pieces that will have to be put together. How can we put those pieces together and start to look for a better way then violence? Many times before people have turned to sport in hard times. Maybe we can do so again. This month’s student column explores the power of and opportunities in sport.

In 2000, at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards, Nelson Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”

Mandela himself used sport to unify a country. He fought segregation not with violence but with sports. A national team has the power to unite a country. We see people that normally disagree come together to cheer on their national team. Which is seen at almost every international sporting event. When people see their countrymen go out on the pitch and give it their very best it makes you feel proud to be apart of that country.

FIFA World cup, Olympic games, ICC cricket World cup, the list can go on and on about sporting events that bring people together. Not just as a country but as a people. We see people celebrating together even though they don’t cheer for the same country. The pleasure of meeting people who speak the language of sport is all they need. No matter their flag, sport will speak for them.

Sport has brought this author around the world and by doing so also have given me friends all over the world. Friends that I will cherish my entire life. Sport gave me that chance, it made me broaden my horizons and step out of my comfort zone. And I’m not alone in being given that chance through sports. It makes peoples life better, makes them believe in something bigger.

Discrimination, unity, believing, these are just some of the thing’s sports contribute. We could go on and on with more things that sport gives us but with the world looking like it does today these are utterly important. Together we will overcome the horrors of today and maybe sport can help us get there.

Hampus Herne

The author Hampus Herne is a member of the EUSA Student Commission. He is a student of Sports Management at Malmö University.

Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact stc@eusa.eu to offer a piece or propose a topic.