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People find out very quickly that I’m not familiar with many sports, play many sports or watch many sports. Growing up I played netball for school from Year 6 to Year 12, mainly as goal defence or wing defence and I was a terrible umpire. My gran was an avid Australian Open tennis viewer, so during summer I would hang out with her and watch a lot of tennis, learning the appreciation of a good game and conduct of a player. Growing up on the Northern Beaches telling people I go for Manly Sea Eagles on footy colours day at work was amusing, as it always created such a reaction! (Even though I don’t know that much about football it was just fun to see people’s reactions) Go Manly!
Although I lack sporting knowledge, I’m always amazed at the time, dedication and discipline athletes put in to get to a professional level. Their work ethic to be at the top of their field is commendable.
Recently I read two articles about Sadio Mane, a Senegalese soccer star for Liverpool and a track and field Olympian Peter Bol, who have used their talents in sport, fame and wealth to help those less fortunate. Sadio Mane in 2020 was seen walking around post games with a cracked phone; this is a man who earns approximately $10.4 million annually from his soccer career. When asked why he didn’t get a new phone he replied, “Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches and two jet planes? What would that do for the world? I starved, I worked in the fields, I played barefoot, and I didn’t go to school. Now I can help people. I prefer to build schools and give poor people food or clothing. I have built schools [and] a stadium; we provide clothes, shoes, and food for people in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 euros per month to all people from a very poor Senegalese region in order to contribute to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips, and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me,” Mane said.
Track and field Olympian Peter Bol has recently been awarded the Peter Norman Humanitarian Award for his work with underprivileged kids. He regularly spends Saturdays working at a Sudanese school in Melbourne helping non-English speaking students with their school work. He says his work is the product of his family values, athletics and a lot of help from others, so he helps others too.
These two athletes have not been swept up by the fame of their professions but use their excess to help those in need. What a great demonstration for sports fans and those not so familiar with sport.
This week’s PCS memory verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31 ‘Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God’. What a wonderful verse for the PCS students to ponder, and to consider what they can do well to glorify and worship God with the talents He has given them, and in doing so help others less fortunate. Imagine the impact PCS students could have on the world with this same attitude!