Learn the lessons

YESTERDAY the national stadium in Suva was a hive of activity. Students, parents, relatives, former students and friends turned up to watch their teams in action vying to proceed to the next level in the Deans competition.

When the hooter was sounded to signal the end of a game, there would be jubilant spectators at one end and dejected supporters at the other.

The competition is now into its playoff stages where teams have to win to progress to the next stage — the semi-finals — next week at the same venue.

For those who will not be taking part in the national semi-finals, especially those who believe they could and should have made it to the next round, defeat will, at first, be hard to accept. They will go over in their minds many times on how they could have done things differently and better for a different result.

That will be in the realm of thought while the action will continue without them next week.

It might be especially tough for students from schools which have been regarded as the traditional powerhouses of secondary school rugby. They, in some estimations, have fallen well short of the standards set by those who went before them.

In their falling short is a valuable life lesson; in certain spheres of human endeavour, little or nothing is guaranteed to anyone or a group of individuals.

Everything has to be earned.

To the victors, their victory while it was on the rugby paddock, should not be limited to that game only or to sports in general.

Since yesterday was a knockout round, the quarter-finals, it meant only the winners go through.

What that basically means is that one team’s success has to come at another’s expense. It is imperative that another team fails, such is nature of competition.

Competition does not end when the school sports season is over. Towards the end of the third term there will be exams which will determine the outcome of another competition, who gets a scholarship or loan to study at a tertiary institute etc

The teams which have gone on to the next round, semi-finals, must then make good use of the opportunity they have earned.

The boys must be encouraged to transfer what they have learned yesterday and throughout their season to life. In that way, having organised sports in our schools will definitely mould our young men and women into well-rounded individuals in good stead for the next stage of their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development.

Being a full-time sports person can also be a career, and a lucrative one too. However, a career in sports can be cut short because of injury.

For that possibility, and whatever else life might throw at us, one must be prepared emotionally and mentally.

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