9 January, 2019
It has been a fantastic New Year for sports enthusiasts. While in Football, India beat Thailand 4-1 in the AFC Asian Cup 2019, a great feat was achieved Down Under by our Cricket team, conquering the great Aussies, in their backyard. In the football match, the captain Sunil Chhetri scored twice and beat none other Lionel Messi to the second spot, in the number of international goals scored. Chhetri now has 67 goals, while Messi has 65. In cricket, the achievement was something of history being created, as it was the first time that we have managed to beat them in Australia. The young captain, Virat Kohli, thus became the first Indian captain to win an Australian series, adding on to his many valuable records. With the ODI series still pending, it looks like there is a lot of excitement still left in the game.
Nothing brings people together like sports, and the sheer joy of watching a match, whichever be the sport, is something that only a sports enthusiast can understand — the only thing that is better than watching a match, especially when the team you support wins, is to watch it with many more fans. That just makes the excitement and joy multiplied. Yes, the best way to have some socializing and enjoy a match is to gather your friends and cheer on your team together. So, should seniors only watch the sport and not play it? Or can you actually take down those boots that you hung up?
Sport knows no age boundaries
Well, you may be surprised to see that sport has no barriers, of caste, creed, color, religion, region or for that matter, even age. Goa has the country’s first Senior Citizens FC. This has been in action for more than two years now, and all members, senior citizens are active players. A newspaper report quotes its President, Nicholas Quiterio, as saying that once they get on to the field and start kicking the ball, they forget everything else, including all their worries!
While in many parts of India, you find a few people of the older generation getting together to play, it is perhaps for the first time that a formal club of this sort has been started. They train regularly and play regular friendlies to keep their spirit going. The love of the game, as well as life, keep them in good fighting spirits to play matches, at times, with the younger folks as well.
If you love football, you may need to find a proper ground of sorts, to get something like this going, apart from, of course, like-minded fellow players. However, for cricket, all you need is a bat and a ball, and you could get going almost anywhere. The best part of playing a sport now is that there are enough facilities around. Most colonies, communities, and apartment complexes have grounds for sports available, that can be used for this purpose. Also, there are parks and grounds in the neighborhood, where people in the vicinity can come together and play.
Apart from this, nowadays many other facilities allow you to rent a turf or ground and play for a specified time. You can pay and play for a certain time, and you should pre-book the facility. There are apps and websites for this as well like Playo, Sporloc, Sportobuddy, BookMyTurf, etc., and many more, where you can collaborate with people, host games or join one, and play or organize matches and book facilities for the same. A few of these apps and sites are city-specific as well and helps you find others with similar interests.
Sports is an Inclusive world
It is an inclusive world out there, as the senior citizen football club is proving. Youngsters are willing to make that extra effort to include or play with or against seniors and make some concessions in terms of not being rough with them, especially when it comes to football. The bottom line is that if you have a genuine interest and if playing the sport, is something that you enjoy and it keeps you active and happy; you should explore options to keep going. If there is a will, there indeed is a way, and many seniors across India, are now slowly beginning to pull their sports shoes back on.
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