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“Unity and patriotism are two major benefits from sports”
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“Unity and patriotism are two major benefits from sports”

On 25 July, governments will meet in London to consider how sport can contribute to advancing vital development goals. The 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting will review how all types of games can address social and economic challenges and promote global public health.

But why is sport so important for national development? According to Ayodeji Morakinyo, 24, from Nigeria, it is a contributor to economic development and can be a vital diversion from conflict and war.

In any nation-state, unity and patriotism are two major benefits obtainable from sports. When two people of different cultures and colour participate in the same game and abide by the same rules, fairness and equity is often regarded by a regulatory official.

Consequently, members of the same team see other participants as their opponents and unite to compete against them. Though those in the same team may have many differences, such differences are overlooked and the common goal of winning the game helps unite them.

In the Nigerian national football team, persons with different religious beliefs, tribal belongings and geographical origins are combined. It is expected by the fans that all members of the team cooperate to uplift the entire nation. In the end, everyone overlooks our differences, giving way to unity and a patriotic spirit. We share in the excitement and disappointments encountered in the tournament.

Secondly, employment and economic growth emerge as a results of sports. In places like the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany, football leagues provide massive employment for many citizens. Again, in the United States, basketball and golf are very prominent and lucrative sporting activities. Huge funds are used to run such business-centred competitions and this further helps to balance the cash flow of the associated countries. The electronic entertainment industry has also tapped into the leisure aspect of sports by producing gaming appliances for global consumers. As such, more people are employed globally and economies grow.

Peace is the final aspect I would like to identify as an input of sports to national development. War is the reverse of peace. It is what we have when children are killed, women are raped and families are destroyed for reasons of ego. Peace is what we have when war is absent. It is an essential environmental factor of national development. Where there is peace, people are able to realise their full potential.

Instead of subscribing to drugs, violence and restiveness, the energies of idle youths can be reserved for good use in sporting activities. Sports provide a healthy platform for youthful competition and encourage the participation of young people in nation building. If more conflict ravaged states would divert the energies of their youth into sports, while attempting to reach a compromise in inter-tribal conflict, I believe that their economies would grow better.

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About me:

I am an animated and artistic writer hailing from the southwest region of Nigeria. I hold a degree in electronics and electrical engineering and am certified as an IT professional.

On days when I am not busy with engineering and management activities, I write prose poems, short stories and journalistic commentaries. In the coming years, I hope to help other people’s lives around the world and aid in the reformation of Africa.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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