Ashgabat, 20 September 2017 (nCa) — As a matter of fact, the spectrum of benefits of hosting international sporting events is quite broad, and flexible, in nature.
An area near the centre of this spectrum is the composition and nature of the national identity.
Every region, and every country in the region, needs to fashion an identity that is amply attractive and suitably supple for every citizen, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, language or any other factor. There is always the need for an identity that can be worn as a badge of pride.
The successful hosting of international sporting events is a guaranteed way of solidifying the national identity.
There are two strands in this thread: 1. Hosting of the events puts the country in the limelight – when the citizens travel abroad, they are coming from a country that is known for hosting the event; and 2. The number of medals won by the host country is obviously a matter of great pride.
We are nearly halfway through the Games and Turkmenistan is leading in the medal count. As we see in the streets of Ashgabat and as we receive reports from the provinces, the people are immensely and justifiably proud of their athletes. By default, they are proud of their identity as the citizens of Turkmenistan.
Hosting of the international sporting events, therefore, is a powerful tool for nation-building. —– People, by nature, crave the reasons to be proud of their national identity, and the hosting of Games provides plenty of reasons to satisfy this urge.
The Games, as we see right before our eyes, provide fresh heroes and role models. The young people who win medals are a source of inspiration for their fellow citizens. In this day and age when the social media is brimming with negative role models, we are lucky to have the events like Ashgabat 2017, which serve as factories for manufacturing admirable role models.
Shifting our focus slightly within the spectrum we can see that there is very close connection between the social media and the teenage mental health. This is very important. At one end of this negative phenomenon is the cyber bullying that may or may not lead to very serious outcome including the suicide, and on the other spectrum there is the Blue Whale, a product of a very sick mind.
Being bored is part of being a teenager tightly packed with raging hormones. Boredom demands action, more action, and still more action. It is a genie that must harm you if you are not doing something.
The sporting events spark huge interest in sports. Sport means action.
The beauty of the indoor and martial arts games is that they require little space, little or no special equipment, and can be practiced individually or in small groups.
In a chain reaction where one thing leads to the other, the Turkmen athletes are winning medals at the Games, by winning the medals they are turning into instant heroes and role medals, and this is sparking the interest of the youth in some activity that is not a prisoner of the smart screen or social media. The sports are their ticket to freedom from the smartphone for at least some part of the day. They will play sports because it interests them but the improved physical and mental health is in the basket they will receive at the end of the day.
It is not possible to over emphasize the importance of the mental health — suffice it to say that about half of the budget of the New York States goes into the issues related to mental health.
To be continued . . . /// nCa