Take advantage of Glasgow 2018!
From the 2nd August, Glasgow will be welcoming Europe’s top athletes to take part in the Glasgow 2018 European Championships: a spectacle of aquatics, rowing, cycling, golf, triathlon, and gymnastics. This year will be the Championship’s first ever event and, alongside Berlin, Glasgow has been selected as one of the host cities. What an incredible honour, but how many of us are gearing up to go and watch?
Let’s face it, it’s been hard to steal focus away from the World Cup this year (especially for me, as France won!), but we’ve heard more people talking about Love Island than about the European Championships! What’s going on?
When we’re young, our parents encourage us to take part in all kinds of activities from football and gymnastics, to athletics and dance. But as we reach our teenage years, it really seems to fade out. Perhaps we suffer from the typical ‘can’t be bothered’ syndrome (I think we’ve all seen those eyes rolls more times than we care to think about). We seem to lose interest as we start the pubescent phase of our lives, and struggle to regain it again.
By the time we grow up, we are more aware of our health, fitness can feel like more of a chore than something we can actually enjoy. We pay for expensive gym memberships and drag ourselves there to run on the treadmill or use the rowing machine, or worst of all – we don’t bother! Many of us with gym memberships don’t actually use them and when we are there, we spend at least 15% of the time chatting, listening to music or walking about. (Nuffield Health research).
So, what is it that makes the gym such a chore? We enjoyed sports when we were children! Well that’s just it, we’re not doing sports at the gym. As children, we were taught to play sports, to be part of a team, to work together and be active through play, and it was fun.
There’s an old saying we love:
“You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.”
We don’t play at the gym, we don’t work together, and the activities we do aren’t social, which means for most of us it’s boring! Playing sports is much more fun, it’s less lonely, we feel part of a team, we get the chance to be competitive and we’re more committed as we don’t want to let anyone down. As part of a team, we lose our judgement, we build each other up and forget about social differences between us. We can help each other by motivating each other and becoming part of the team.
So, why is the European Championships so important? Well, first of all, it brings sport right to the forefront of what’s happening in Glasgow. As tourists and visitors fill the city to watch, there’s a buzz we can’t escape. We get another chance to show the world the best of Glasgow and going along to some championship events is just the start.
So, take your kids along to see the swimming, cycling, the triathlon or the gymnastics – hopefully it will inspire them to get involved, take part in sports and find something they can have a real passion for to keep up throughout their lives. But equally as importantly, go yourself to watch, so that you too are inspired. We need to remember all the different aspects of sports we loved as children and motivate ourselves to get involved. There’s nothing quite like the nostalgic feelings of youth- and that’s exactly what we get when we get back into the sports we love.