The value of sport

5 November 2018|Lifestyle| Off Comments off on The value of sport|

By Jared Khu

YMCA Wellness Centre


WHEN I was a young kid back in the 1960s, one of the most terrifying things that confronted me in life was taking part in sporting activities.

As it turned out, Don Talbot, the former Australian swimming coach, was my next door neighbour.

Thanks to his teaching, I learned at an early age the value of learning how to swim (or any sport for that matter) in teaching people things about themselves that help guide them through life.

Here are three common characteristics that anyone, whether children or adults, may develop as they take part in a structured sporting program such as learning how to swim.


Respect for authority:

The same as in most of life, learning how to swim often requires conforming to structured rules and submitting to a higher authority.

No matter how talented individuals may be, they still must obey any rules and the referees and coaches that enforce them.

In the 2001 World Swimming Championships, the Australian women’s 4x200m relay team finished first.

But the Italian team had still not completed the race when Petria Thomas leapt into the pool to celebrate.

The Aussie girls were disqualified.

When swim teachers insist on children obeying some simple rules, they are teaching children far more than just how to learn to swim – they are teaching them how to succeed in life.



When a child or adult who is too small, too slow, too weak, or feels that they aren’t good enough perseveres by trying again and again, they develop a quality necessary for future success.

They learn how to overcome big obstacles.

They learn to persevere instead of quit when times get tough.

Sporting success might not be theirs, but later in life when challenges come, they will more likely overcome them with flying colours.



It takes courage to take your first steps into the water and put your trust in a swim teacher you might not have met before.

It hurts when you belly flop on your first dive attempt.

It’s embarrassing when you start learning how to breathe in freestyle and you take in a mouthful of water on your first breath.

It takes courage to keep getting into the pool week after week, sometimes day after day, and say, “I want to learn how to swim.”

The value of learning how to swim or any other sport goes way beyond just developing ability and talent.

Getting involved in sport at any level at any age will teach you positive characteristics that will remain with you for life.

So, if you want to improve you or your children’s health and wellbeing, look into the various learn to swim programs offered by the many pools in Glenorchy and greater Hobart.

No matter what your age, getting into sport has great value for you, your children and your community.

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About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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