From the late 90s going back, sports leagues were very much a part of community events; especially during summer months. Children ages nine and above line up for basketball or volleyball; under junior, midget or senior teams. Mini-olympic type of activities were also usually held to bring about the participation of communities. Relay games, obstacles courses and the like were much awaited by the youth. Awarding ceremonies were usually done just a week before the start of classes; marking the end of summer break. We remember feeling so dismal and wondering “how come summer ended so fast?”
But, for the last ten years or so, the wonderful world of sports seem to be losing its magic, especially with the youth. Physical sports seems to have become a thing of the past; is it becoming outdated? Obsolete? Irrelevant? We talked with community leaders and it has become apparent to them also that truly, there is vast lack of enthusiasm among the youth population nowadays. How to conduct a sports league with only a few players (if they’re lucky)? More often than not, it’s zero application.
What has happened to our youth? Where have all the athletic drive gone?
The answer is E-sports.
Electronic sports has replaced the physical sports which since time immemorial was very relevant to a person’s health and wellness. Competitive games are now in the form of video games and referred to in different names and categories: e-sports, competitive gaming, professional gaming, and cybersport.
Games are played competitively at different levels: amateur, semi-professional and professional levels, and some organizers have even organized e-sports competitions through leagues and tournaments … via computers. Countless hours are spent on e-sports.
Is this not a matter of concern?
Shouldn’t we remind families that youth access and participation in sports activities are still, first and foremost, more relevant to the physical, social and emotional development of their children than e-sports? It has to be reiterated that sports participation generally serves broader purposes other than as a sweat-it-out activity or to pass time with. Perhaps sports has to be redefined and highlighted once again in order for parents of the new generation to realize that sports is a necessary field to make their children have healthier minds and bodies while also learning values such as discipline, perseverance, determination, responsibility, confidence, accountability and a whole lot more of other values.
Shouldn’t we entice the youth ourselves? Let us ponder on this question. Is the field of sports losing its sparkle with the generations of the present? The school is still working on the aspect of information and opportunities for the students; but are many of our youth pursuing further interest in sports once they’re outside the school?
We, as parents and mentors, should be the role models of our children. We need to give them the extra push and inspiration by becoming involved in similar endeavors; or, at least, give them a boost to look at sports as a very worthwhile and wholesome activity – again.