Rugby Union

British & Irish Lions highlight the power of sport

Lions success would lift the whole of Britain & Ireland. (©GettyImages)
Lions success would lift the whole of Britain & Ireland. (©GettyImages).

Whether it be the British & Irish Lions winning a test match, Andy Murray becoming victorious on centre court at Wimbledon or England's cricketers winning an Ashes test, sport has an undoubted affect on a nation and its mood.

In Britain we are often critical of our sporting heroes, when defeated, but when they are victorious we can be lifted to a high that nobody or nothing else is capable of doing.

We are a sport mad nation and our obsession should not be frowned upon because it allows us, for the duration of a game or a race, to put our troubles and problems aside as we unite behind a common cause.

They say sport and politics should not be mixed but when our great nation is in competition in whichever sport it may be, political differences are put to one side enabling unity to emerge. Strangers can become friends in an instant.

The Olympics last year was a perfect example of this. Getting lost in a sense of occasion gave everyone a purpose, even if it was just for a brief moment. Watching the likes of Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill achieving gold, fulfilling their own lifetime ambitions, gives everyone who witnessed it their own sense of satisfaction.

If we listen to the headlines on the news, or the general opinion from the man on the street, then we will convince ourselves that we are living in depressing times with austerity measures and huge unemployment rife.

The feel good factor in life should not be underestimated and sport has the power to deliver this to everyone, no matter what differences they may have.

Sport also gives us a sense of national identity. An international football tournament always brings out the patriotism with flags draped from houses and cars. It can also put paid to any sense of realism as we are convinced that England can win any tournament they enter, until the actual tournament and reality hits home.

However, for a brief moment we are lost in our own aspirations and dreamland, which is a good thing. I don’t think sports men and women realise the power they possess.

England winning the World Cup in 1966 and, to a lesser extent, winning back The Ashes in 2005, gave the country a massive lift. The Olympics last year affected the whole country and will hopefully leave a lasting legacy but all it takes is a single day of success where nothing can go wrong for British sport and we are all wrapped up in the splendours of sport.

On the flip side we can have our dreams blown away by defeat but at least sport has the habit of being able to provide more sporting moments soon afterwards to enable our hopes to be rejuvenated.

This summer could be one of the most memorable if Andy Murray achieves his dream of Wimbledon glory and England retain The Ashes. No amount of money in the world can replicate the joy that sports fans all over the country will feel if these dreams come true and that is why sport should never be underestimated for the power it possesses in any nation.  

 

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Topics:
British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union

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