I Am Who I Am Because Of My Sport
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Why do I believe it is important to encourage children to participate in sport from a young age?
As an ice skater, it is ingrained in me to get back up when I fall. For 5-year old me taking my first steps on the ice, that meant standing back up, wiping the ice from my tights and trying again. But maturing as an athlete and shifting my focused to larger, more long term goals, I have been presented with more obstacles. The instinct to ‘get back up’ has become much more complex, falling is no longer limited to just me losing my balance. However, I have found that the fundamental lesson of physically standing back up has adapted into my mental strength. Resilience to overcome setbacks with determination and grit, as well as allowing me to develop the important ability to apply this to life off the ice.
Skating has given me constant challenges throughout my journey, having had to deal with injuries, overwhelming pressure, defeat, and rejection. There have been times in my skating career when I have found myself wondering if I really can ‘get back up’. After my most recent set back, failing to achieve one of my biggest goals within the sport, I found myself asking the difficult question, 'is it worth getting back up or is it time to admit defeat?'. It never takes much time to conclude and so far it has always been a resounding 'YES, it is worth it!'. All of my years of training mean whether I like it or not I’ve been conditioned to always try again, as impossible as it may seem at the time.
As a result of my experiences in the sport, I am a big believer that it teaches young people essential life lessons that can’t be taught in classrooms. Mine is just one example of the endless unique lessons learned through a sport that can develop into personal qualities for individuals to carry with them and apply to all aspects of their lives.
Involvement in sport from a young age is so important to encourage and facilitate to ensure that the opportunities to learn these valuable lessons are not missed. Growing up in a sport has made me the person I am today and for that, I am forever thankful.
Blog written by Evangeline Perry