Sport for exercise? It might or might not help, but sport should never be done as the sole means for exercise.
Sport for physical fitness? It might or might not help, but sport should never be done as the sole means for physical fitness.
Sport for camaraderie? It might or might be a means of camaraderie, but sport should never be the sole means by which one experiences camaraderie.
Sport for community? It might or might not be a means to build community, but sport should never be the sole means by which 'community' is established.
Sport for money? It might or might not be a means by which to earn an income, as it's been confirmed that athletes have a 10 year earning capacity.
Sport for national identification? It might or might not be a means whereby a people's identify themselves, but there is a lot more to national identity than sport.
Sport for self fulfilment? It might or might not add to one's self esteem, but an injury will soon illustrate that sport cannot be relied upon for self fulfilment.
Sport for narcissism? It might or might not contribute to the love of self, but sport should never be seen as the means by which the love of oneself is governed.
If Sport is none of these things, or not the sum total, what therefore is sport? Sport is primarily a focus on "fun" or "play".
I for one, cannot count the number of times elite athletes have said to the media, that their sport is primarily about enjoying themselves, having fun playing it, the art of participation, the joy of the experience. How many times have you heard them say, that once that magic or mystical factor is gone, it’s time to get out.
Yes, there are components of the sport experience that helps "exercise" and good for "physical fitness" and enjoy the "camaraderie" and it contributes to building "community" and the rest of it, but primarily sport is enjoyment.
I for one, am passionate about the experience of talking 'hockey' and writing about 'hockey' and 'playing hockey' but that is not the sum total of who I am, rather for me, the hockey experience is just so very enjoyable.
As the Australian Cricket Team Chaplain for 17 years (1984-2001) it was my privilege to witness elite sport at close quarters. Primarily, the cricketers loved their cricket. Greg Chappell explains this in his interview
Therefore, enjoy your Sport, whatever it is - tennis, bowls, softball, swimming, diving, track and field, hockey, football, golf, motor racing, bikes whatever!
For me, loving Jesus Christ brings a lot of those attributes mentioned above along for the ride, but in essence, it's the love of Jesus that is "front and centre" of the Christian's life walk.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html