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Saturday FAN gets sporty

Saturday FAN gets sporty

  7 February 2016

Sport and exercise was our topic today at the Quaker Centre in Charles Street, Cardiff, introduced by Paul - the first day of the 2016 Six Nations. Perhaps reflecting something about the demographics of our attendees today sport was not a central part of many people's active lives as participant - David was the exception as he had had an early promising football life, halted by injury, but who followed both football and rugby avidly. Paul highlighted the atmosphere in Cardiff on an international day (primarily for rugby but nowadays also for football and even cricket).
Quite a few friends enjoyed watching sport - Terrie-Ann enjoyed snooker in particular and Carol, who actively has disliked sport since her schooldays, did enjoy watching cricket, although she was still uncertain about all the niceties of the rules. Many of us had been 'forced' to take part in sporting activities at school, but this failed to instill in many of us any great desire to actively continue playing. Of course, great skill and athleticism, can be seen in many sports, and huge amounts of dedication and hard work is required to rise to a high level. Sport at such level can be very exciting to watch. Is sport necessary as part of a regime to keep healthy? It can be a part, but taking part in a very active sport can also lead to considerable injuries and long term harm. Far more people at the meeting today were, in contrast, inspired by the idea of exercise, and many talked about their love of walking, dancing and visits to the gym. Table tennis was noted as a sporting activity enjoyed by quite a few. The competitive nature of sport was touched upon by Ian and others. Who wins is a key part of a sporting contest but can be quite a turn-off for taking part. On the other hand, advocates of sport see 'taking part' and 'being part of a team' as character building. Someone mentioned chess as the sport they liked. Is that a sport, some thought? What defines a sport? A quick search on Google' says this 'an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment'. But the United Nations Inter-agency Taskforce on Sport for Development and Peace goes a bit further and suggests that sport can embrace 'all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. These include: play; recreation; organised, casual or competitive sport; and indigenous sports or games'. On that inclusive note we closed our meeting, and turned to more informal chatting amongst ourselves, helped by delicious cheese scones and biscuits, courtesy of Terri-Ann and Zahra, and tea and coffee. Despite a nasty, wet and windy morning we had a good attendance of both regulars and newcomers. We had a good presence of friends from Saudi Arabia, and new friends from Ethiopia, Iran and England. As ever at a Fan Group meeting, a life enhancing occasion.

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