Celebrating God given talent, and exceptional hard work – Fr Joe

For fans of sport there has been such an abundance of coverage of games during the week, that you might never have left the couch! Rugby and GAA, Golf and Tennis, Cycling and Soccer, all being played at the highest level by exceptionally talented men and women. Some stadia have been empty, others have a sparse crowd and for others the fans are out in force and the atmosphere is terrific. Elite sport played at the highest level can be extremely passionate and energising, full of highs and lows, roars and groans and from the side lines, endless commentary, advice and admonition. “Ah ref!”

Behind the competitors and players are legions of coaches and staff, family and friends, all hoping and praying for success. Of course, there are winners and losers, the victorious and the vanquished, smiles and scowls, tears of joy and despair, stories of what might have been and near disbelief at unexpected success. There has been terrible pain and distress too, cyclists crashing to the ground, skin stripped off by the unforgiving road surface, a soccer played motionless on the ground, paramedics rushing the jolt his heart back into motion, a young tennis player overwhelmed by the occasion and ridiculed in commentary. There is a lot of human emotions, hope and defeat caught up in the world of sport.

Some of these men and women, icons and sporting heroes are superstars, mega rich and maybe a little spoilt, others still perform under an amateur code, playing for pride not profit. Together they have given us all relief from the stress and weariness of Covid, a welcome break from a dullness that had come into our lives. So, let’s celebrate their talent, appreciating all that sports contributes to our world and acknowledge their God given talent and exceptional hard work.

If none of the above touches your life then maybe you’d have appreciated watching the kindergarten children at their sports day last week. With their parents roaring them on, tiny children ran in their egg and spoon race, a timeless and universal childhood experience, a first taste of competition, success or defeat, revealing an appetite for sport that can last a lifetime.