No, it’s not only a game. It’s so much more. ECP coach Darren talks about why he is missing sport so much during the lockdown.
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Read and check you understand this vocabulary before you read and listen to the text.
unlikely: improbable, very small chance something will happen
take their mind off: to make you stop thinking or worrying about something
hurdles: upright frames over which athletes in a race must jump
leading leg: the first leg that goes over the hurdle
buzz: high sense of excitement
lining up: standing beside the other athletes at the start of a race
flying: running really fast, performing very well
I had him: I was in a position to beat him
clipped: to gently hit off something
struggle: to proceed with difficulty
in awe: a strong feeling of respect/amazement
staring: a fixed look with eyes wide open
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No, it’s not only a game. It’s so much more. ECP coach Darren talks about his need for sport.
This morning I read in a WhatsApp group that the leisure centres in Vitoria are unlikely to open until September. That means I can’t play squash for at least another three months.
Some might say that there are much more important things to worry about and they are right, but that doesn’t stop me feeling sorry for myself. I feel a little bit lost without sport.
I spent my youth playing sport. I competed at county, provincial and national level in six sports. This meant I had training every day and was competing somewhere in Ireland every weekend. I also competed for my school which meant more training and competitions during the week.
We often hear people say they like sport because it makes them take their mind off things, to not have to think, to not feel, to escape their lives. I love sport because it makes me feel intensely.
The mix of nerves and excitement before running the 110m hurdles. The concentration and focus on attacking the first hurdle at speed and arriving with the correct leading leg. The first hurdle is vital to running a good race. Once you get that right, the buzz of jumping ten hurdles at speed while racing and trying to win is phenomenal.
The feeling of happiness when you win is fantastic. When you lose, it can be heart breaking, but this is just as important to the whole experience.
A race I’ll never forget is when I fell at the last hurdle. I felt sure I was about to beat the best hurdler in my age group. He was an international and I had never beaten him. He was a year older than me and much stronger. It was intimidating lining up beside him. But on this occasion I was flying and I had him. I just needed to give it a little extra push. I clipped the second last hurdle which affected my stride onto the final hurdle. I fell and could only watch him sprinting to the line to take gold. I didn’t even win a medal. I can still feel that frustration today. But that is why I love competing. It’s the mix of emotions and the memories.
Now I play squash, a sport I began playing at the age of five. It’s a passion. It’s a natural drug and I need it for my mental well-being. I can honestly say I would struggle in life without it. I enjoy the whole process of finding better ways to train. The training itself. Planning tactics. The excitement of playing. The winning and the losing. The ups and downs and looking forward to the next challenge.
Sport is a way of life. You enjoy the company of like-minded people. You go through the highs and lows together. You get to watch in awe some amazing athletes. They can leave you staring in disbelief and wondering how any human being could achieve such brilliance. I love it.
Let’s chat about that!
Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!
- Is there an activity you are missing during lockdown?
- Do you believe sport to be something important or trivial?
- Would you be interested in watching sport on television with athletes performing in empty stadiums?
- What sports will suffer most as a result of the Coronavirus?
- Explain why you like, or don’t like, sport.
You can watch a video that combines the text and audio here: WEP Scrolling Text & Audio.