The Asian Games were recently held in Jakarta, the Capital of Indonesia, and Palembang a city in South Sumatra. This is the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games and is something that Indonesia should be very proud to host.
This reminds me of the ideals behind the Olympic games, and neatly ties in with this “Kid’s Issue” as well! The Olympic Credo is “The most important thing about the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”.
I really hope that all the teams taking part of 40 countries will espouse these ideals and come away refreshed and revitalised by the competition and the camaraderie. But I also hope that they, like other sporting heroes, become role models for kids, to inspire them to try, to compete, to train, to struggle, to improve their skills, and to be honest and ethical.
The pervasiveness of the computer and mobile games is a blessing and a curse but it is something to resist while on this fabulous island. It’s too easy to stick the kids in the pool and when they are done let them while away their day glued to a screen. Instead I urge you to take them on one – or all – of the adventures available across the island: rafting, surfing, sailing, snorkelling, climbing, waterparks, safari parks, elephant parks, museums, galleries, bike riding, horse riding, trampolining, bowling, golfing, there are a million things to do to occupy and fascinate young minds and bodies.
But please don’t forget to introduce them to the religion, culture and art of the island: take them to the temples, the dances, the processions, the ceremonies. Introduce them to the differences in culture and lifestyle that make life so interesting.
Maybe their idols at the games will inspire them to be “Higher, Faster, Stronger” (The Olympic Motto) but if they don’t, perhaps you as parents can!
Alistair G. Speirs, OBE